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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Contador: Tour de France is my top priority

By Associated Press

MADRID -- Alberto Contador called his season "very positive," and marked next year's Tour de France as his top priority despite the doping charges hanging over him.

Contador, speaking on Spanish state TV, was very happy with his second Giro d'Italia win and a fifth-place finish in the Tour this year.

"Next year, the objective will be the Tour, and it's probable I'll race in the 2012 Vuelta," Contador told RTVE on Wednesday. "I already want to [race the Vuelta]."

Despite feeling "very positive, very positive" about his 2011 season, Contador has a November date with the Court of Arbitration for Sport hanging over him and his last two big wins.

Contador is facing a two-year doping ban after failing a drug test on his way to winning a third Tour in 2010. Contador has continued to compete since then with his case dragging. He won this year's Giro after the Spanish cycling federation cleared him of doping for successfully arguing that he tested positive for clenbuterol because of contaminated meat.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union appealed the federation's decision and CAS has twice postponed the hearing. Contador hopes to attend the Nov. 21-24 hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"It's in the hands of my lawyers now, and I have confidence in them," said Contador, who hopes a decision will be reached before the close of 2011.