11 Nov 2010

Spain says Contador decision is a couple of months away

5:45 am on 11 November 2010

Spain's cycling federation says it will take at least two months to decide whether to sanction Tour de France winner Alberto Contador for alleged doping violations.

The UCI "sets a rule of a one-month deadline to take a decision in doping cases ... but under Spanish anti-doping rules, which is what will be followed, the authorised period is three months.

Contador won his third yellow jersey in July, but it was later revealed that he tested positive for trace amounts of the banned substance clenbuterol during the second rest day of the Tour de France at Pau on July 21st.

Contador claims he ate contaminated meat, although his critics suggest he may have inadvertently put clenbuterol -- a weight-loss and muscle-building drug -- back into his system via an illicit and performance-enhancing blood transfusion.

Provisionally suspended by the UCI, Contador's future is hanging in the balance. If suspended for two years, he has threatened to quit the sport.

Contador, who also won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, in August signed a two-year contract with the Saxo Bank team.