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Astana-Würth out of Tour?

The Tour de France wants to exclude the Spanish Astana-Würth team from the race, according to reports in El Pais and AS. An official communiqué has not been released yet, but the Tour has already sent faxes to the UCI and Astana-Würth informing them of their decision.

According to AS, the co-manager of Active Bay (which owns the team), Pablo Antón has received the fax and intends to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Tour de France, which has a strict anti-doping stance, has already excluded the Comunidad Valenciana team on the basis of information from 'Operación Puerto'. However, it is not yet clear whether it can exclude a ProTour team without the blessing of the UCI. That may well be given, after several members of Astana-Würth have been heavily implicated by 'Operación Puerto'.

April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009
- Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto

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