Team Saxo Bank retains elite status

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iol spt apr1 Contador

AIGLE, Switzerland – Saxo Bank will keep its place on the 2012 World Tour despite failing to qualify without the ranking points earned by two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, who received a two-year ban for doping.

The International Cycling Union says its license commission made the decision even though Saxo Bank ended Contador's contract when the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed the ban in February after he tested positive for clenbuterol in winning the 2010 Tour.

The UCI, which asked for the Danish team to be dropped, accepts the decision. President Pat McQuaid says the panel “took its decision in an entirely independent manner.”

Contador, who won the Tour in 2007 and '09, was stripped of the 2010 title. He can race again in August. – Sapa-AP

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