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Contador Waits on Lawyers Over Leaving Astana

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10/24/2009| 0 comments
by Reuters
Alberto Contador. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Alberto Contador. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Contador Waits on Lawyers Over Leaving Astana

Tour de France champion Alberto Contador is waiting for legal advice before deciding whether to break his contract with his Astana team, the Spanish rider said on Friday.

Tour de France champion Alberto Contador is waiting for legal advice before deciding whether to break his contract with his Astana team, the Spanish rider said on Friday.

Contador, who has repeatedly said he would like to leave Astana, is under contract to Kazakh-funded outfit until 2010 but the team have not yet been granted a ProTour licence by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for next season.

"After all these months of waiting, I am very calm at last," Contador said in a statement.

"My lawyers are the ones who will say whether it is possible to break my contract or not. I hope to know their opinion as soon as possible, as well as experts from the UCI, in order to make a decision.

"Meanwhile, I keep working as before, focused exclusively on my training," added the two time Tour winner.

UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Reuters Contador could leave Astana under the governing body's rules, which state that a rider is free to go if his team have not had their ProTour licence renewed by Oct. 20.

"Just look at the regulations, he can go, no problem with the UCI. If a team is not on our ProTour list on Oct. 20, any rider is free to leave that team," Carpani said.

"Then, I do not know what kind of contract he has with Astana, so that's up to him to look into that."

Team Astana representatives were not immediately available for comment.

On Thursday, the UCI published a list of teams who had been granted a ProTour license, which gives them the right to take part in the biggest races.

Astana, along with Team Sky, Caisse d'Epargne, Saxo Bank and Euskaltel Euskadi, were not on the list, although they have until Nov. 20 to meet the UCI's requirement for a ProTour licence.

Contador, who is one of five riders to win the three Grand Tours -- France, Italy and Spain -- has been contacted by Quick Step and has also expressed an interest in the Garmin-Slipstream and Caisse d'Epargne teams.

His brother and agent, Fran Contador, said in a statement: "Our lawyers are studying the details of the UCI regulations to make the right decision in coming days.

"Lawyers should clarify whether it is possible to implement the new article introduced last July in the model contract proposed by the UCI for riders to sign with a UCI ProTour team.

"According to experts, the interpretation of the law can be confusing and we want to be sure before making any decisions," he added.

 

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