Contador saga to rumble on into 2012

CYCLING: The Alberto Contador saga is set to stretch into a third calendar year after the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed the sport of cycling will likely have to wait until 2012 for a final ruling into the Spaniard's positive doping test.

A closed hearing in Lausanne was today hearing closing submissions for triple Tour de France champion Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation in their dispute against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Cycling Union (WADA).

A statement from CAS read: "The CAS decision in this matter is not expected before the end of 2011."

The news prolongs an already lengthy saga following Spaniard Contador's positive test for clenbuterol on the second rest day of the 2010 Tour, which he went on to win.

The 28-year-old contests the adverse finding was a result of contaminated meat. The positive result was revealed in September 2010 and the Spanish Cycling Federation initially proposed giving the Saxo Bank-SunGard rider a one-year ban before subsequently acquitting him.

The UCI and WADA both appealed that decision to CAS, who have already twice postponed proceedings. The case had been due to be heard prior to July's Tour before it was postponed until August and then delayed for a second time until this week.

Prior to the 2011 Tour, Contador had won six straight Grand Tours entered - the Tour in 2007, 2009 and 2010, the Giro d'Italia in 2008 and 2011 and the Vuelta a Espana in 2008. Should CAS rule against him, Contador would lose his 2010 Tour title and the 2011 Giro crown.

Nadal knows he has his work cut out for him

tennis: Rafael Nadal knows he has his work cut out if he is to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tonight and reach the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The previous results in Group B mean it is a straight fight between the two players for the second spot in the table behind Roger Federer.

Nadal has won six of his previous eight matches against Tsonga and thrashed the Frenchman for the loss of only six games in a Davis Cup semi-final clash in September, but that was on clay and it will be a very different contest at the O2 Arena.

The hard indoor surface is much more favourable to Tsonga's aggressive game, while the memory of Tuesday's 6-3 6-0 thrashing by Roger Federer will still be fresh in Nadal's mind.

The Spaniard said: "We have played a lot of matches against each other. He's an explosive player, an aggressive one. I know that I have to play aggressive, I have to play (my shots) long. If I play short, it will be very difficult.

"I have to be solid with my serve. If not, it is impossible, because to have breaks against him is always a really difficult thing."