Madrid – Spain's Alberto Contador may compete in the 2011 Tour de France after the Court of Arbitration for Sport delayed a hearing in his doping case until after cycling's biggest event.
On May 25, that Lausanne, Switzerland-based arbitration body announced that it had agreed to postpone the hearing - initially set for June 6-8 - to give "all parties concerned reasonable time to prepare" for their appearance and guarantee the participation of witnesses and experts.
The hearing was pushed back to Aug. 1-3, or a week after this year's Tour concludes.
The CAS will hear an appeal filed by the International Cycling Union, or UCI, and the World Anti-Doping Agency against a Feb. 15 decision by the Spanish cycling federation to acquit Contador of wrongdoing over a positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour.
The federation accepted Contador's argument that he had ingested the performance-enhancer inadvertently on July 21, 2010, by eating contaminated meat.
The Spanish cyclist, winner of the Tour de France in 2007, 2009 and 2010, said his participation in this year's event will depend exclusively on his physical condition.
"If I go to the Tour it's because I'm 100 percent because I want to compete for (the victory)," Contador said upon arriving in Madrid earlier this week.
The arbitration committee is presided over by Israel's Efraim Barak and also includes Switzerland's Quentin Byrne-Sutton, at the petition of the UCI and WADA, and Germany's Ulrich Haas, at Contador's request.
The 28-year-old Spanish cyclist with the Saxo Bank-SunGard team has been competing in races since being acquitted of wrongdoing and on Sunday claimed victory in the Giro de Italia (Tour of Italy). He also has won competitions held in the Spanish regions of Murcia and Catalonia.