Contador signs with Saxo Bank through 2015

Sanctioned Tour champ returns to Riis Cycling, will race the Benelux Tour, Vuelta

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COPENHAGEN (AFP) — Alberto Contador will rejoin Saxo Bank on August 5 when his doping suspension ends for a contract term that runs through 2015, the Danish team announced today.

Contador, 29, and Saxo Bank “have agreed on a contract between them for the rest of the 2012 season and three seasons next,” said a statement from team owner Bjarne Riis.

Contador, then leader of Saxo Bank, was suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February for a controlled positive for clenbuterol, an anabolic stimulant, during the 2010 Tour de France.

Contador blamed his positive test on a contaminated steak that he ate during that year’s Tour, one of three editions of the race that he won. He was stripped of the 2010 Tour victory and the ban means he will not be able to compete at this year’s Olympic Games.

“The decision to return to Team Saxo Bank has actually been pretty easy, and my first priority was always to rejoin the team and to continue working with (team manager) Bjarne Riis, and the rest of the team,” Contador said in the statement.

“The support I have experienced from them in a very difficult situation is extraordinary.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike, and my aim is to repay that support, hopefully with some great results.”

On April 17, Contador announced that he would return to competition at the Tour of Benelux, which starts on August 6, the date of the end of his sanction, before lining up at the Vuelta a España on August 18.

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