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An unhappy Frank Schleck during the Giro d'Italia
No comment on his future
With his doping-related ban set to expire on July 14 Fränk Schleck has told Cyclingnews that he is ready and able to return to racing.
Schleck tested positive for the banned diuretic and masking agent Xipamide during last year’s Tour de France in an anti-doping control after stage 13, and received a 12 month ban.
“I’m fit and I’m training so I’ll be ready to step in,” he told Cyclingnews which contacted him on Wednesday.
Schleck would not set any date for his return though and would not talk about any of the speculation that has surrounded his future in recent weeks, with current team boss Flavio Becca reportedly contemplating firing the rider.
“We’ll see when that is,” Schleck said when asked about a possible racing return date.
“I’m not going to talk about that now though. We’ll see. I’m training between four to six hours a day and I’m fit.”
When pressed on whether he has a contract for next year the former Tour de France podium finisher said, “I don’t want to talk about that, so please respect that.”
Last week it was confirmed that Trek had bought the RadioShack-Leopard WorldTour licence from Becca, and that the American bike firm would bankroll the team for the coming three years with Fabian Cancellara the first star name to commit his name to the project.
“I’m happy that the team has a sponsor,” Schleck told Cyclingnews.
Cyclingnews understands from a reliable source that Trek is currently renegotiating contracts with both Schleck brothers for the 2014 season.
While younger brother Andy continues to impress in the opening days of the Tour, Fränk has watched on from the sidelines and has tipped his brother to animate the race in the mountains.
“They did a very good time trial yesterday and Andy looks pretty sharp. He’s been at the front and that looks good. It’s not easy being on the sidelines. If I’m not out on the bike then I’m watching,” he said.
“He has the experience and he knows how to climb and in a week he should be going even better.”