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Page last updated at 06:58 GMT, Wednesday, 30 March 2011 07:58 UK

World Anti-Doping Agency appeals to Cas over Contador

Alberto Contador
Cas has promised to rule on the Contador case before the start of the Tour

The World Anti-Doping Agency has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the lifting of Alberto Contador's doping ban in Spain.

The three-time Tour de France champion was cleared by the Spanish Cycling Federation over a positive clenbuterol test during last year's Tour.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has also appealed to Swiss-based Cas.

Sport's highest court has previously promised to rule over the Contador case before the start of this year's Tour.

The Spaniard, who won the Tour of Catalunya on Sunday, can ride until Cas hears the case, though Condator faces a possible two-year ban and losing his Tour de France victory if the Lausanne-based court finds against him.

Should Cas rule against Wada and the UCI, the 28-year-old cyclist will be free to defend his title, with the 2011 race starting on 2 July.

Contador tested positive for the banned drug clenbuterol - he had minute traces of the drug in his urine samples - days before his third Tour de France win last July.

Clenbuterol is a banned fat-burning, muscle-building drug, but the Spanish federation accepted Contador's explanation that he had inadvertently consumed the drug in contaminated beef.

The World Anti-Doping Agency regards clenbuterol as a zero-tolerance drug, though its rules allow athletes to escape a sanction if they prove "no fault or negligence" on their part.

The UCI announced last September that Contador was provisionally suspended and asked the Spanish federation to investigate.

The federation's disciplinary committee originally proposed a one-year ban for Contador in January this year, but his legal team then offered new evidence and he was cleared to race three weeks later.

Days before the decision, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had said that there was "no legal reason to justify sanctioning Contador".

Contador, who now rides for the Saxo Bank-Sungard team, is one of only five cyclists to win the three Grand Tours - the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Spanish Vuelta.

He also won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, but was prevented from defending his first title in 2008 because his Astana team was banned for doping offences at the previous year's race.

Only one cyclist has lost a Tour de France title for doping - American Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 victory.

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see also
Contador seals Tour of Murcia win
06 Mar 11 |  Cycling
UCI ponders appeal over Contador
05 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Contador makes return to cycling
16 Feb 11 |  Cycling
Contador cleared of doping charge
15 Feb 11 |  Cycling
Tour winner in positive dope test
30 Sep 10 |  Europe
Contador signs for Saxo Bank team
03 Aug 10 |  Cycling
Contador seals third Tour victory
25 Jul 10 |  Cycling

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