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Cycling: Contador vows to fight drug ban

Tour de France champion Alberto Contador abandoned threats to quit the sport yesterday and vowed to fight a one-year ban, which he angrily blamed on cycling's "obsolete" anti-doping controls.

The 28-year-old three-time Tour champion, the outstanding rider of his generation, has 10 days to appeal against the Spanish federation's (RFEC) preliminary decision to suspend him -- handed to the rider on Wednesday -- before a final verdict is reached.

Contador, who blamed the positive reading for a small amount of the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol on contaminated meat, also faces being stripped of his 2010 Tour title.

The Spaniard's decision to fight the suspension could be risky, with the RFEC warning yesterday that an appeal from the rider could result in an increase in his ban.

Contador, accompanied at a news conference by his Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis -- a former Tour winner himself who has admitted doping -- said he no longer trusted cycling's anti-doping system.

There was no immediate reaction from the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Australia's Shane Watson says tomorrow's fifth one-dayer against England in Brisbane will be emotional after the floods which devastated the city.

Queenslander Watson and his team-mates donated some of their match fees from the second Twenty20 to the Flood Relief Fund, along with England players.

Australia lead the seven-match rubber 3-1 and can clinch the series. "It's going to be an emotional day and hopefully that can help pull us over and win the series," said Watson.

The all-rounder hit a match-winning 161 to put Australia 1-0 in front in Melbourne two weeks ago and immediately returned to his hometown of Ipswich, west of Brisbane, to see the destruction caused by the floods.

Meanwhile, England fast bowler Tim Bresnan said he is "confident" he will be fit ahead of next month's Cricket World Cup.

The all-rounder sustained a calf injury during the second one-day defeat in Hobart and was ruled out for the remainder of the series, along with off-spinner Graeme Swann, but his recovery plans are well on track.

LEONA MAGUIRE defied a 45-minute suspension of play and a golf course playing exceptionally long after heavy overnight rain to storm into a five-stroke lead on eight-under at the Portuguese Ladies Amateur Championship.

Maguire shot a two-under-par 70, while twin sister Lisa was on three-over after her second-round 76.

Ireland's Charlene Reid and Emma O'Driscoll both carded 77s yesterday to slip to eight-over.

Gillian O'Leary, a previous winner of the title, shot a disappointing 80 but was still on course to make today's 54-hole cut.

Irish Independent