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Wed Apr 23 16:06:53 SAST 2014

Contador repays Saxo Bank loyalty with three-year deal

Reuters | 09 June, 2012 08:520 Comments
Alberto Contador Leads Team Saxo Bank Bike Ride Through Jerusalem
Alberto Contador of Spain and Team Saxo Bank prepares to take part in a bicycle ride through the alleys of the old city, on December 6, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel
Image by: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

Alberto Contador has agreed a contract extension until 2015 with Team Saxo Bank for when he returns to competition later this year after a doping ban, the Spanish rider and his team said in a statement on Friday.

Contador, who was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title and banned for two years after failing a drugs test for the anabolic agent clenbuterol, is eligible to return to action on Aug. 5.  

“Throughout these tough two years we have stood by Alberto, so to be able to announce his return to the team is something I have really been looking forward to,” team manager Bjarne Riis said on the Saxo bank website (www.team-saxobank.com).  

“Now we can put an end to the speculation and start focusing on building the team for the coming years.”  

Contador, who also won the Tour in 2007 and 2009, was given a retroactive ban in February after a high-profile case which was taken all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.  

“The decision to return to Team Saxo Bank has been pretty easy, and my first priority was always to rejoin them and to continue working with Bjarne Riis and the rest of the team,” said the 29-year-old, widely regarded as the best cyclist of his generation.  

“The support I have experienced from them in a very difficult situation has been extraordinary. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike, and my aim is to repay that support with some great results.”

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