Paris - Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will find out "between January 15 and 20" whether he is to be handed a doping ban from cycling, a top official was reported as saying on Wednesday.
Contador, the standout stage racer of his generation, was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) earlier this year despite testing positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, which he won.
The Spaniard claimed he had ingested the banned substance by eating a contaminated steak, an explanation which satisfied the RFEC but which failed to pass muster with the International Cycling Union (UCI) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Both bodies appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the hope of handing the Spaniard a more substantial sanction.
Following months of delays which ended with Contador pleading his case before a CAS hearing last month, CAS general secretary Matthieu Reeb said CAS would make a final decision "between January 15 and 20", according to www.rmcsport.fr radio.
If CAS upholds the appeals the Spaniard faces a competition ban and being stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title and the Giro d'Italia, which he won for a second time this year, and any other victories since July 2010.