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Bjarne Riis has his say at a meeting of team bosses
Bank says Contador case plays no role in sponsorship
Saxo Bank will continue to support Bjarne Riis' team even if Alberto Contador is suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and also announced that it will give the Dane more money to find more riders for the team.
The Saxo Bank-SunGard team owner can keep an eye out for more riders to strength the team and support Contador in the future. “If there is a need for it, we have a clause that allows us to come up with an extra sum of money if Bjarne finds the right rider to strengthen the team, Saxo Bank CEO Lars Seier Christensen told sporten.dk.
It could be either a high-profile rider or someone “to enhance the breadth of the team.”
Riis confirmed the arrangement, but refused to say who he was looking at. “As to the specific riders, it's not certain that we can get them. But it gives us some opportunities to strengthen the team.” He also confirmed that it would be someone to ride at the Tour de France.
“We have full confidence that Bjarne can always pull a rabbit out of the hat and make sure that the team will always be among the best. It is also consistent with the values that the company Saxo Bank represents,” Christensen said.
No sponsor withdrawal in case of Contador ban
Saxo Bank last month announced that it would extend its sponsorship for another year, and Christensen said that the sponsorship would continue no matter what happens with Contador.
“We are there regardless of whether Contador will be there or not. There is thus no risk that Bjarne will be in trouble if Contador is sanctioned,” he said.
“But let me also say that it is definitely not my expectation that we are going to lose Contador due to a conviction. It would be a great injustice from the information I have gathered about the situation.”
The CAS is scheduled to hold hearings in August on Contador's positive doping control from last year's Tour.