Russian Vladimir Gusev has signed a contract through the end of 2011 with the Katusha squad, the team announced today. Gusev, 27, has been out of ProTour level competition since 2008 when his then-Astana team dismissed him for alleged irregular blood values detected as part of the team's independent testing programme.
Despite Gusev's assertions that he never took performance enhancing drugs, he was left off the Russian team for the Beijing Olympic Games.
He finished out the 2008 season racing for the Russian National Team at the world championships and Chrono des Nations.
Gusev took his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which in June, 2009 decided that Astana was wrong to fire him and instructed the team to pay his back salary, legal costs and damages.
A Classics specialist, Gusev is best known as one of the unfortunate trio of riders who were disqualified from the 2006 Paris-Roubaix after going through a level crossing after the gates had come down. He also won a stage of the 2007 Tour de Suisse and the overall mountains classification as well as the Tour of Belgium the same year.
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