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Saxo Bank to challenge UCI points ruling on riders returning from suspensions

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 18, 2012, 13:29,
Updated:
April 18, 2012, 14:31
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Bjarne Riis and Alberto Contador are all smiles after the jump

Bjarne Riis and Alberto Contador are all smiles after the jump

  • Bjarne Riis and Alberto Contador are all smiles after the jump
  • Saxo Bank Sungard manager Bjarne Riis answers a question at the press conference.

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Team counting on Contador's haul to retain WorldTour licence

Bjarne Riis does not agree with the UCI's rule that any points brought in by a rider returning from a doping-related suspension will not count for his team for two years. The Saxo Bank owner indicated he would challenge that rule in relation to Alberto Contador's expected return to the team in August.

“Under no circumstances can we accept this rule. It is as if Lionel Messi returned to play for Barcelona after a suspension and scored goals, but his goals would not count,” Riis told politiken.dk.

Contador had contributed more than two-thirds of the team's points last year, before his two-year suspension was announced. The team lost those points, but the UCI's licencing commission decided to allow Saxo Bank to retain its WorldTour licence nevertheless.

"If we have as expensive a man as Alberto on the payroll, we must be able to use him to fulfill our ambitions, one of which in particular is to be a part of the WorldTour.”

Contador's contract with the team was nullified when he was suspended, and he has the option to sign with any team when the suspension is over. However, both he and Saxo Bank have indicated he will return to the Danish outfit.

"We are currently engaged in a thorough investigation of how we should proceed. I know about the UCI's stance, and now it's up to us to demonstrate that it is not right. It is a purely legal battle, and we don't just take it for granted, but I can't say much more right now. "

The team is currently last in the UCI's point list, in 18th place with 32 points. Seventeenth-ranked FDJ-Big Mat has 72 points, while leading team Omega Pharma-QuickStep has 547 points.