I caught this story while reading the Outside Blog earlier. A while back I posted a story that said 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador could be banned from this year’s race. Well now that that looks like a reality, Contador has vowed to win the race, just not this year.
The defending champ told VeloNews that he is more determined than ever to win the Tour, following a ruling on Wednesday that his Astana team would not be allowed to compete in any Amaury Sports Organization event this year. ASO is the Tour organizer. The team was banned from all ASO events due to a variety of doping scandals that have rocked the entire sport over the past two years.
There was some speculation that Contador might switch teams in order to compete in this years Tour, but he has elected to stay with Astana, and will adjust his racing schedule to take part in other big European cycling events that ASO doesn’t have a hand in. An angry and stunned Contador says he’ll be back in 2009 to re-claim his Yellow Jersey however.
ASO was quick to respond to that claim, saying that while the team is banned in 2008, they will need to have a “scandal- and suspicion-free” season in order to be reinstated next year.
Is anyone surprised any more when cycling continues to shoot itself in the foot? This year’s Tour will be interesting to watch if for no other reason than that we won’t know who the hell any of the riders are.
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