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Copenhagen – Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador will return to Danish outfit Team Saxo Bank from August 5, when his two-year doping ban comes to an end, it was announced Friday.
Saxo Bank said in a statement published on their website that they and Contador, 29, had “agreed on a deal that will tie him to the team for the remainder of the 2012 season and the coming three years”.
Contador was banned for testing positive for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.
He 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 Olympics.
“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 was planning to return to competition at the week-long Tour of the Low Countries – known officially as the Eneco Tour – which begins on August 6, before competing in the Tour of Spain from August 18.
He also said at the time that a return to Saxo Bank was his “first priority”. – Sapa-AFP