WorldTour License For Saxo-Tinkoff Opens Door For Contador’s Tour Return

Next season, Alberto Contador is all but sure to be back at the Tour de France. This was after the final-hour ProTeam license was awarded to Saxo-Tinkoff Bank that assures that the cyclist banned for using Clenbuterol will return to the Tour for the first time since 2011. After being sidelined this season due to his backdated Clenbuterol ban, the Spanish superstar will be the centerpiece in the battle for the Tour de France title.

“Contador will be back in the Tour next year,” said Sky’s 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins. “Alberto changes any races he’s in.” At the Tour presentation in October, 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) said Alberto will be back next year and you know he will be extra motivated to win and added that the Spaniard always races to win and is always a hard competitor.

The aggression of Alberto Contador in the mountains is well known for altering the dynamics of any race when he is at the start line and Contador typically races for the win in just about every race he starts. In the past, the cyclist has passionately insisted his wins have come clean and said that his doping case was triggered after eating contaminated beef; the doping incident led to disqualification of his 2010 Tour de France win, as well as his 2011 Giro d’Italia victory.

Recently, the doping-related case of the Spaniard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport was closed after a private settlement on the proposed fine was reached and the CAS therefore “officially terminated the arbitration.” The cyclist was given a suspension of two years for his positive doping control for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France and made a return to racing in August of this year and subsequently won the Vuelta a Espana.

In a statement issued, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said the CAS has been informed of an amicable settlement between the UCI and Contador regarding this issue and has officially terminated the arbitration. The details of the settlement were not released though it was reported that Contador must pay 37,500 Euros in court costs for the UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency.

However, the cyclist is still under some ‘dark clouds’ after links between Contador and former trainer Pepe Martí surfaced though he was not named in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation into the U.S. Postal Service-Discovery Channel-Astana doping legacy. If that was not all, an expected trial that will involve Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, Manolo Saíz, and other key players in the Operación Puerto blood doping ring dating back to 2006 will bring back bad memories for Contador who was among nine riders not allowed to start the 2006 Tour while racing with Liberty Seguros at the time. But he is likely to make a big impact with the arrival of many quality riders, including Nicholas Roche, Roman Kreuziger, Michael Rogers, U.S. champ Timmy Duggan, and Rory Sutherland and the cyclist is doubly motivated for the Tour with a climber-friendly route on tap for the centennial edition.

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