Paris - A ruling on the doping case of former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador was on Monday further delayed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport until the end of the month.
The Swiss-based CAS said in a statement that it had given all parties involved in the case an opportunity to voice concerns on the composition of its arbitration panel.
The panel is chaired by Israeli Efraim Barak, who reportedly visited Contador's home country twice for conferences ahead of the four-day CAS hearing in November. In addition, Contador's Saxo Bank team chose Israel for a pre-season training camp.
It was also reported that the World Anti-Doping Agency team threatened to walk out of the CAS hearing after one of its experts was not allowed to give evidence at the hearing.
"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has noted with great disappointment that some media have reported certain rumours in relation to the arbitration procedure involving the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Alberto Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC)," CAS said.
"The CAS will not comment on these allegations. However, the CAS has requested the parties to clarify whether, at this stage, any of them wanted to challenge the composition of the arbitral panel. As all answers were negative, the panel will now be able to resume its mission.
"Unfortunately, this regrettable incident has slightly delayed the work of the panel and the publication of the final decision should now take place during the week of 31 January 2012."
Contador tested positive for the forbidden substance clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour which he went on to win. The rider has denied doping and attributed the adverse finding to contaminated meat he ate before the doping test.
The Spanish federation cleared him of all charges, against which the UCI and WADA appealed before CAS.