With a week still to ride, Alberto Contador has all but won the Giro. In fact the Spaniard had things pretty well sewn up as soon as the race hit the mountains, such is his superiority. He romped away on the slopes of Mount Etna on the ninth stage and his rivals have been left in his wake, scrapping for second.

Without doubt this is the most dominant performance since Ivan Basso’s near 10-minute advantage five years ago. Within a year the Italian had been banned for two seasons for his involvement in the Operacion Puerto drugs scandal.

Now history could be repeated as we count down the days until the Court of Arbitration for Sport publishes its ruling on Contador which could also see him banned for up to two years after his positive for clenbuterol at last year’s Tour de France.

It’s been a ridiculous start to the season, months of farce since the Spanish Cycling Federation cleared their man of all charges. Rightly the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency both appealed but that leaves Contador free to ride and race fans in limbo.

Before Contador’s positive test, best price for a fourth Tour win had been 10/11 but now with just over five weeks to go until the big race the bookies simply won’t take a bet on the man.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

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Giro d’Italia 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

  • geoff

    We wait with anticipation for the results of dope tests in the Giro in a weeks time to see if the “balancing regime” has worked. It worked in the past.

  • John Reekie

    The thing I find a bit ridiculous in this situation is that Contador has put in a dominant performance at the Giro under presumably a full doping procedure and testing regime. Therefore surely it is pretty inconcievable that he is putting in this display doped without the ability for the authorities to catch him albeit after the event. I also thought that the biological passport system would highlight any anomolies as well. This is more of a system problem than an athlete problem as he would have either been cleared with no appeal or the appeal should have been held prior to the major events to avoid this situation.

  • Dave

    Just read elsewhere that Contadors legal team are asking for a further postphonement till mid July or even September.
    Now this will be something to see if he wins the Giro, the upcoming TDF and suppose he rode and won this years Vuelta, Do anyof us actually see him then being sanctioned and the powers at be stripping him of 1 Vuelta, 1 Giro and 2 TDF titles plus the lesser tours he has won or been placed in.
    Another mess brought about by the UCI, WADA , CAS and the Spanish authorities, if the riders are ALL so Anti doping why do they continue to race with these riders.

  • Nick Rearden

    Personal opinion in an editor’s opinion piece – whatever next?

  • simon

    when will cycling ever sort itself out ?, its such an utter mess for all involved, great sport i’ve been a fan since 1996, just don’t know what i’m watching anymore, real shame.

  • theswordsman

    No content, just a bit of personal opinion and muckraking. Send this one to your favorite journalism professor