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Tour organizer won't back down on decision to ban Astana from '08 race

Updated: March 26, 2008, 9:05 AM ET
Associated Press

MADRID, Spain -- Tour de France champion Alberto Contador won't be eligible to compete in cycling's showcase event until 2009.

Tour organizer Patrice Clerc said Wednesday he won't rescind the decision to ban Contador's Astana team from this year's race. But he said Astana can return in 2009 if it stays free of doping scandals this year.

"There's no reason not to think about this team competing in 2009," Clerc told The Associated Press. "If all goes well then there is no reason why ...

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