Cycling: Contador set to race again as ruling body in Spain lifts doping ban

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The Independent Online

Alberto Contador will have his provisional one-year ban for failing a dope test lifted on appeal by the Spanish Cycling Federation, according to reports in Spain last night. The 28-year-old three-time Tour de France champion, the outstanding rider of his generation, has been suspended provisionally since August after he tested positive for a small amount of the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol.

The Federation said it was unable to comment on the reports, but his team are said to be preparing him to race in the Tour of the Algarve which begins tomorrow.

Spanish newspapers reported that according to sources close to the disciplinary committee, it had decided to accept Contador's appeal that he had inadvertently consumed the banned substance after eating a piece of contaminated meat during the Tour de France.

Once the decision has been communicated, the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency have one month to decide whether to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Romero has withdrawn through injury from the Great Britain team for this weekend's Track World Cup competition in Manchester. Romero was set to make her track return for Britain for the first time since winning Olympic gold in Beijing in August 2008. However, after being ruled out by a "minor" injury, she is now concentrating on regaining full fitness for the Track Cycling World Championships, which begin in the Netherlands on 23 March.

British Cycling announced the final composition of the team for this weekend with three-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins set to race in home colours on the track for the first time since November 2008. Wiggins is named in a five-man squad also comprising Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant for the four-man, 4km team pursuit, which takes place on Sunday.

Sir Chris Hoy opens his campaign on Friday in the men's sprint and will ride in all three sprint events – individual sprint, team sprint and keirin – for Sky Track Cycling.

Victoria Pendleton will also ride in three events, competing in the two-woman, two-lap team sprint alongside BMX ace Shanaze Reade for Sky Track Cycling.

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