Despite Astana ban from Tour, Contador won't swap teams

Updated: March 29, 2008, 8:12 AM ET
Reuters

PARIS -- Tour de France champion Alberto Contador of Spain, whose Astana team has been barred from entering this year's race, has ruled out changing teams to defend his title.

Tour organizers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) said Astana would not take part in this year's race because of its implication in previous doping scandals.

"It must be clear: I will not ride the Tour the France in another team than this one," Contador, who won the five-day Tour of Castilla and Leon in Spain on Friday, said in a team statement.

Astana, which have overhauled its structure, said it is a new team committed to the fight against doping and have called the decision unfair.

"I hope there comes an end now to all speculations and rumors that I will go to another team in order to participate in the Tour the France," Contador added.

"This week we proved again that Astana Cycling Team is not only a strong team, but a group of friends as well."

Astana manager Johan Bruyneel confirmed in a statement Contador would not change teams.

"I can confirm Alberto's words: he will not ride the Tour for another team. End of speculation."

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