Alberto Contador is training this week with his Saxo Bank teammates on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria as he waits for a final decision in his long-running clenbuterol case.
There could be further delays, however, in the final decision coming out of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
According to a report in the Spanish daily El Mundo, a ruling that was promised this week could be delayed at least until next week or perhaps even longer.
El Mundo cited sources saying that the three-member panel deciding Contador’s fate wants more time to complete its final ruling due to the complicated nature of the case. All three members are practicing attorneys and the report said that they want to make sure the final ruling is air tight and will leave no room for a possible appeal.
CAS rulings can be challenged in Swiss civil court, but that option has only been exercised in a few cases.
Confident that he will be absolved, Contador has been preparing for his 2012 season as if he will be racing a full calendar. He’s made it plain that his top goals are returning to the Tour de France in top shape with the full intention of winning.
“We are only waiting for the final decision, of which I am optimistic,” Contador said at a ceremony last week when he was awarded his weight in honey by a Spanish town.
Contador is joining his teammates on five-hour training rides on the mountainous roads of Gran Canaria and is scheduled to stay there until January 15.
He is planning his season debut at the Tour de San Luís in Argentina on January 23. Other pre-season races such as the Vuelta a Murcia and Tirreno-Adriatico are part of his plans, but so far his top goal is to arrive “100 percent to the Tour de France to fight for the overall victory.”
Contador could face up to a two-year ban and the disqualification of his 2010 Tour victory as well as possible disqualification of his victories during the 2011 season.