After numerous unexplained delays, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has finally overruled the Spanish Cycling Federation's attempt to whitewash the doping of its national cycling hero, Alberto Contador. The CAS today banned Contador for two year retroactive to July 21, 2010, the date of his positive test for clenbuterol. He will miss this year's Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, but be reinstated in time for the Vuelta a Espana. Even more importantly, he has been stripped of his 2010 victories in both the Tour and the Giro. Consequently, Andy Schleck has been named the official winner of the 2010 TdF and Michele Scarponi gains the final pink jersey of the 2010 Giro. Cyclingnews.com has the full story here.
The long delayed decision in the Contador case comes less than one week after a grand jury in the US declined to bring doping, conspiracy, or fraud charges against Lance Armstrong or any of his teammates from the former US Postal Team. As Armstrong is fond of pointing out, he is the most tested athlete in history and has never tested positive for any illicit substance. Maybe he never doped, maybe he doped and was just smarter or more devious about it than others, or maybe he doped and was just lucky. The fact remains that his victories remain intact while those of other riders have been stripped. The list of disgraced cyclists is unfortunately long, but Armstrong's name does not yet, and may never, appear on it. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is still investigating Armstrong (see here), but unless new evidence turns up - and much of the evidence the grand jury heard will not, because of legal rules, be available to the USADA - that investigation seems no more likely than prior investigations to yield charges that will stick.