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

3/29/2008

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."