Alberto Contador ruling near

MADRID -- A decision in Alberto Contador's doping case from the Tour de France should be reached by the end of next week, according to the head of the Spanish cycling federation.

Contador failed a doping test on the way to his third Tour title, and the Spanish cyclist blamed the positive clenbuterol result on contaminated meat.

Juan Carlos Castano said Wednesday the federation's disciplinary committee is expected to receive the International Cycling Union's verdict on the case by Monday. Then it would need several days to finalize its decision on whether to impose a two-year ban on Contador and revoke his Tour title.

"The UCI's document is expected by Jan. 24, which would then need about three days to review before a decision is taken," Castano told The Associated Press.

Contador and the UCI have the right to present further arguments based on the decision, something Castano said could postpone the final ruling until mid-February.

Contador, a three-time Tour champion and winner of the Giro d'Italia and Spanish Vuelta, tested positive during a rest day at last year's Tour. He claims he ingested the muscle-building, weight-loss drug clenbuterol inadvertently after eating contaminated beef.

Contador, who also won the Tour in 2007 and 2009, signed a two-year deal to race for Saxo Bank from this season.