ALCUDIA, Spain (VN) — Some 565 days have passed since Alberto Contador gave urine samples during the second rest day at the 2010 Tour de France that later revealed traces of clenbuterol.
Since then, there have been tremendous highs and lows in a controversial, drawn-out process that resulted in Monday’s two-year ban released by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Here are the key dates in ‘caso Contador’:
July 21, 2010: Contador undergoes a doping control during the second rest day in Pau during the 2010 Tour de France. He later claims that he dined on steaks the previous evening that he claims were spiked with clenbuterol. Testing later revealed 50 picograms per milliter of clenbuterol. Subsequent samples taken over the next three days were later tested, revealing 16, 7 and 17 picograms/ml, respectively.
July 25: Contador wins the Tour for a third time, beating Andy Schleck by a margin of 39 seconds.
August 23: Results of the anti-doping controls conducted by a WADA-approved laboratory in Cologne, Germany, are handed over to the UCI. Among them is Contador’s A-sample, which revealed traces of clenbuterol, a banned anabolic agent.
August 24: Contador receives provisional ban from the UCI
September 8: Contador’s B-sample also returns positive
September 30: A German television station gets tipped off that Contador tested positive. Journalists make calls for confirmation, prompting Contador and the UCI to publicly reveal the news. Contador explains in a press conference that the likely source of the cliebuterol came when he dined on steaks on July 20 and 21.
November 8: The UCI passes documents to the Spanish cycling federation and asks that a disciplinary hearing against Contador commence
January 25, 2011: The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) recommends a reduced, one-year sentence. Contador’s legal team appeals the recommendation
February 15: RFEC decides to absolve Contador of all charges and clears him to return to competition
February 16: Contador flies immediately to Lisbon and is forced to take a three-hour taxi ride to arrive in time for the start the next morning of the Volta ao Algarve
March 24: The UCI appeals the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
March 29: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) joins the appeal
May 20: CAS sets a hearing date for June 6-8, opening the door for Contador race the Giro d’Italia
May 29: Contador wins the Giro for a second time
May 31: CAS delays hearing until early August, allowing Contador to race the Tour de France
July 24: Contador finishes fifth in the Tour
July 26: WADA requests a delay in the hearing until November
November 21-24: A four-day hearing is held at CAS offices in Lausanne, Switzerland. Media attention prompts officials to move the hearing to another building to avoid the press.
January 23, 2012: Contador makes his season debut at the Tour de San Luís in Argentina after yet another delay in the CAS ruling. Contador wins two mountain stages and finishes second behind Levi Leipheimer.
January 30: CAS says a ruling will come in early February
February 5: Contador races the opening day of the Mallorca Challenge, lining up at the start line alongside Andy Schleck
February 6: CAS hands down a two-year ban and disqualification of the 2010 Tour de France as well as all subsequent results. Officials “discount” Contador for time he sat out during his provisional ban, allowing him to return to competition on August 6.