Even though Cycling Australia had received formal confirmation in December from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) that the investigation into Allan Davis' involvement in the Operación Puerto case had been closed, and although Davis had already resumed racing in Australia in October, the Australian sprinter is still to confirm signing for a new team.
Inquiring about Allan Davis' possibilities of riding for a pro tour team again next year, his manager Paul De Geyter (Celio Sport & Image) told Cyclingnews that Davis is in the last phase of his contract negotiations and that things should be wrapped up by the time the European season kicks off.
De Geyter said, "Indeed, I want Allan to have a clear situation by the beginning of February."
While riders like Ivan Basso and others named in the Operación Puerto case have already found a new employer, Davis is one of the sport's best cyclists who is allowed to race still without a confirmed contract. His manager explained, "It took much longer than expected because of the position taken by the IPCT (International Professional Cycling Teams).
"Their position has till now prevented Allan to join a ProTour team. However, I have obtained confirmation from the IPCT that it won't undertake any measures towards a ProTour team wishing to hire Allan."
According to De Geyter, manager of the Belgium-based Celio Sport & Image group, which also handles riders like Tom Boonen, Davis has got some solid offers which they are currently considering. Paul De Geyter: "At this moment I am in negotiations with three ProTour teams and I am confident to have Allan joining a ProTour team before the end of this month."
Davis is currently racing in Australia at the Tour Down Under for a special 'composite' team, called Australia-UniSA (featuring a team made up of riders from four different pro squads). Many have observed he is riding a Discovery-badged Trek and indeed, there has been wide speculation he is to join the USA ProTour team, but the rider himself declines to comment.
Davis is currently focused on helping his Australia-UniSA team-mate, Tasmanian Karl Menzies, defend his leader's jersey in Australia's premier stage race. Menzies, who usually rides for the US-based Health Net squad, had a slender one second-lead going into the decisive stage 4 of the event which tackles 'Willunga Hill'.
(Cyclingnews continues its coverage of Tour Down Under with live coverage of this important stage later today.)
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of '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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