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The Star Online: Sports

Lotus acquires British sports car maker Caterham

Posted: 27 Apr 2011 04:44 AM PDT

LONDON (AP) - Caterham Cars moved into the glamorous world of Formula One on Wednesday when Team Lotus announced the acquisition of the great British sports car manufacturer.

Lotus purchased Caterham, which specializes in making small lightweight sports cars, for an undisclosed sum from venture capitalist group Corven, in a deal labeled "the perfect partnership" by the F1 team.

Caterham's most famous car is the Seven, which was designed by Colin Chapman - the founder of the original Team Lotus. He sold the rights of the Seven to Caterham in 1973.

Lotus said the deal will allow Caterham to "expand its brand profile and product family."

"Caterham has a unique place at the heart of the motoring world," Lotus owner Tony Fernandes said. "As well as being proudly and staunchly British, it has an enviable and uniquely unblemished reputation within the industry for performance, handling and engineering excellence.

"It is already a successful business with sales across Europe, Japan, Australia and the Middle East ... we now have all the ingredients and the launch pad to further evolve that spirit and take Caterham to new exciting horizons."

Caterham's existing management team, headed up by managing director and former Lotus Cars executive Ansar Ali, will remain in place.

In the last five years, Ansar has created Caterham's first brand new model in 15 years, the SP/300.R sports prototype racer.

"While the Seven will now have the global springboard it deserves and will continue to be evolved yet further," Ali said, "we also have the opportunity to expand the Caterham family beyond the Seven and SP/300.R and breathe new life into our uniquely respected brand and mature it into a truly global business."

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CAS names 3-lawyer panel to hear Contador case

Posted: 27 Apr 2011 02:50 AM PDT

GENEVA (AP) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport named a three-man panel on Wednesday to hear Alberto Contador's doping case and said it expects a verdict before the Tour de France in July.

Israeli lawyer Efraim Barak will chair the panel, which also includes Quentin Byrne-Sutton of Switzerland and Germany's Ulrich Haas.

CAS has not fixed a date to hear the case, but reiterated its intention to issue a ruling before the 2011 Tour begins on July 2. Contador is the reigning champion.

"The written proceedings in this matter are likely to be concluded at the end of May.

The CAS envisages to hold a hearing in June, which would allow the settlement of the dispute before the end of June," the court said in a statement.

The international cycling federation, UCI, and the World Anti-Doping Agency have appealed Contador's acquittal on doping charges by the Spanish cycling federation.

A Spanish tribunal accepted Contador's defense that he inadvertently consumed the banned substance clenbuterol in contaminated beef.

Under CAS rules, each party in a dispute can choose an arbitrator to work with the court-appointed chairman.

Contador's legal team selected Haas, while the UCI and WADA chose Byrne-Sutton.

Contador can continue riding until the verdict, and is scheduled to race in the Giro d'Italia next week.

Haas is among the most requested arbitrators on the CAS approved list and has a track record in cases involving Spanish cycling and clenbuterol.

He served on the panel which ruled last year that Alejandro Valverde could be banned from riding in Italy using evidence collected by Spanish police during the Operation Puerto investigation.

Valverde's legal team tried to get Haas kicked off the case, arguing that his advisory work with WADA compromised his objectivity, but its appeal was rejected by Switzerland's supreme court.

Haas, a teaching professor at the University of Zurich, has helped rule on two recent cases involving clenbuterol, which burns fat and builds muscle.

American swimmer Jessica Hardy was ordered to serve a one-year ban even though the CAS panel accepted last year that she was not at fault for a positive test because she thoroughly researched the contents of a dietary supplement which later proved to be contaminated.

In 2009, Haas and his panel dismissed Polish canoeist Adam Seroczynski's claims that his clenbuterol positive at the Beijing Olympics was the result of "food tampering" by organizers who fed him contaminated meat. The IOC's expert witness in the case dismissed the possibility of accidental contamination.

Haas also was involved in an Olympic case which found fault with the WADA-accredited laboratory in Beijing.

The CAS panel reinstated silver and bronze medals to Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan, hammer throwers from Belarus who tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, because their samples were mishandled.

However, the panel did not clear the athletes of suspicion, insisting the verdict "should not be interpreted as an exoneration."

Barak chaired the first CAS panel to hear a case of Champions League matchfixing. His panel upheld UEFA's decisions to exclude Macedonian club Pobeda from European competitions for eight years and imposed a life ban on the club president.

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