A ruling in the ongoing doping case involving Alberto Contador will be delayed until end of January.
That’s according to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which said in a statement Monday that it is delaying the final decision after giving all parties an opportunity to voice concerns about the composition of the three-member arbitration panel.
Though the answer if they wished to challenge the panel was negative, CAS decided that it needed more time to rule on the case dating back to the 2010 Tour de France.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has noted with great disappointment that some media has reported certain rumors in relation to the arbitration procedure involving the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Alberto Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC),” CAS said on its web site.
Last week, rumors of infighting within the hearing as well as concerns about alleged links between a trip by Saxo Bank to Israel and the panel’s lead arbitrator, Israreli Efram Barak, have only further muddied waters in an already long and convoluted process.
“The CAS will not comment on these allegations. However, the CAS has requested the parties to clarify whether, at this stage, any of them wanted to challenge the composition of the arbitral panel.” As all answers were negative, the panel will now be able to resume its mission. ”Unfortunately, this regrettable incident has slightly delayed the work of the panel and the publication of the final decision should now take place during the week of 31 January 2012.”