Alberto Contador is facing an appeal hearing set on August 1 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.  The appeal was made by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) after the Spaniard's national cycling federation cleared him of doping accusations when he tested positive for trace amounts of clenbuterol.

Now WADA, the organization making the appeal is considering changing its rules on clenbuterol during its meeting in Montreal next week.

This could be just the breakthrough that Contador was hoping for before his appearance in the Tour de France on July 2.

Although Contador is being allowed to race in the Tour, his appearance will have the shadow of the appeal hearing hanging over him.

If WADA makes any significant changes to its rules, Contador can breathe easier during the three-week race.

Besides Contador, five soccer players from Mexico's national team recetly tested positive for clenbuterol.  Like Contador, they claimed that the positive test was due to contaminated meat.

By considering the change, WADA is essentially conceding the possibility that the contaminated meat explanation is a viable reason for trace amounts of the banned anabolic drug. 

Contador will be racing for his fourth Tour de France title.  The Spaniard still stands four titles away from American Lance Armstrong's record seven Tour de France victories.

Armstrong himself is in the midst of a federal doping investigation for use of performance enhancing drugs during his time racing in the Tour de France. 

The investigation has been compounded by a recent witness tampering charge by Tyler Hamilton during an alleged altercation in Colorado.  Hamilton, the former teammate of Armstrong, went on 60 minutes several weeks ago to accuse Armstrong of doping

Tour de France race organizers are no doubt hoping for a race free from doping scandals.  Floyd Landis was the other Tour de France would-be winner who had his victory taken away in 2006 after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.