Contador blamed traces of the banned substance clenbuterol found in his system on contaminated food [EPA]

Spanish cyclist and triple Tour de France champion Alberto Contador looks likely to be able to compete in this year's Tour after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) postponed a hearing for his failed doping test until August.

CAS announced on its website that Contador's case will be heard from August 1-3, freeing up the controversial cyclist to participate in cycling's premier event in July.

Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in the final week of the race last year although a Spanish tribunal accepted Contador's explanation that he consumed the drug in contaminated beef.

The International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency are challenging the Spanish cycling federation's decision to clear the three-time Tour champion of doping.

Delays

Contador's hearing was due to be heard before CAS over three days in Lausanne from June 6-8 in order to have the decision before the start of the Tour de France on July 2.

But CAS announced last week that it had "accepted to postpone the hearing in this matter in order to give to all parties concerned reasonable time to prepare for such a hearing and to guarantee the participation in person of witnesses and experts".

Contador, who on Sunday won the Tour of Italy, wants to become the first rider since 1998 to complete a double of the Giro and Tour de France.

Contador tested positive for a tiny amount of the banned muscle-building substance clenbuterol during last July's Tour, which he went on to win.

Until CAS give their verdict, Contador is allowed to race. 

Source: Agencies