The Danish cycling scene has responded with surprise to the news of Alberto Contador's positive doping control during the Tour de France, with speculation as to the future of Team Saxo Bank.
Neither team owner Bjarne Riis nor team CEO Trey Greenwood could be reached for comment.
The bank itself has responded cautiously. “It's hard for us to comment on this, because we know no more than Contador has tested positive. Therefore we have no other comment than that we are awaiting further information from Contador,” bank spokesman Kasper Elbjørn told the Danish news agency Ritzau.
Saxo Bank had announced that it would end its sponsorship the team this year, but extended for an additional year after Contador's signing was announced last month.
The president of the Danish Cycling Union called it “an unfortunate situation for all parties. A very sad situation for cycling in general and especially for Bjarne Riis and Saxo Bank.”
Tom Lund of the DCU told sporten.dk, “However the case ends, I hope that Bjarne Riis' team continues. I am thinking in particular of all the Danish riders, because it is extremely important for Danish cycling that we have this amazing Danish team.”
That is also the concern of DCU director and former rider Jesper Worre. “It's so far not an issue for Danish cycling, and the case must take its course,” he told politiken.dk.
“But what interests us from a Danish point of view is that the team will continue and that it can provide some of the Danish riders more prominent roles," said Worre.
And concerning Contador's fate, he said simply, “If he has taken this, then he must have his sentence - no matter who he is. And as we always say in these cases, it's good to see that the system works and that there is no difference between high and low.”
Worre, who is known for his anti-doping stance, tested positive in 1992. He confessed immediately and was given a conditional suspension.