Cycling: Contador to have suspension lifted
Alberto Contador will have his provisional one-year ban for failing a dope test lifted on appeal by the Spanish Cycling Federation, according to reports in Spain last night.
The 28-year-old three-time Tour de France champion, the outstanding rider of his generation, has been suspended provisionally since August after he tested positive for a small amount of the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol.
The Federation said it was unable to comment on the reports, but his team are said to be preparing him to race in the Tour of the Algarve, which begins tomorrow.
Spanish newspapers reported that, according to sources close to the disciplinary committee, it had decided to accept Contador's appeal that he had inadvertently consumed the banned substance after eating a piece of contaminated meat during the Tour de France.
Once the decision has been communicated, the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency have one month to decide whether to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Meanwhile, after a very credible showing in last week's Tour of Qatar, where the An Post team held their own against a strong ProTour line-up, the boys in green are back in the saddle again this week.
A squad of eight will ride in the Tour of Oman, which gets underway today.
Veteran 40-year-old Belgian rider Niko Eeckhout has been rewarded for his fine leadership in Qatar, retaining his position as team leader, and is once again joined by Irish pair Sam Bennett and Mark Cassidy.
Mark McNally, Andy Fenn and Belgians Kevin Claeys, Maxim De Busschere and Pieter Ghyllebert complete the line-up.