Alberto Contador’s Tour de France doping case was postponed for a second time Tuesday and will now probably be heard in November.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said the scheduled start next Monday was delayed at the request of the World Anti-Doping Agency with “unanimous agreement” of all parties.
“The second round of written submissions will allow the parties to complete their evidence and arguments relating to some specific scientific issues,” CAS said in a statement.
New dates for the hearing “probably in November” will be fixed in the coming days, CAS said.
Contador’s spokesman suggested the delay was because the case against the star Spanish rider was weakening.
“This delay has been requested by the WADA. The only thing that it means is that its case is not strong enough,” Jacinto Vidarte said. “Contador wants to resolve this as soon as possible.
“But if the WADA has requested that it be delayed, we have to accept it.”
The three-time Tour champion was due in sport’s highest court for a three-day hearing to consider his positive test for clenbuterol, a banned anabolic agent, when winning the 2010 race. The case had previously been scheduled to take place in June.
The International Cycling Union and WADA are appealing a Spanish cycling federation decision to clear Contador in February.
A Spanish tribunal accepted Contador’s explanation he consumed clenbuterol by eating a contaminated steak.
Clenbuterol is a fat-burning, muscle-building drug that is fed to livestock in some parts of the world to bulk up meat. It is banned in Europe.
If found guilty of doping, Contador faces a two-year ban and loss of all his results since his positive test, including last year’s Tour and the 2011 Giro d’Italia.
The Saxo Bank-Sungard rider was chasing a third straight Tour victory but placed fifth when cycling’s signature event finished Sunday.