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Schumacher ready to ride

Stefan Schumacher has applied for his 2009 license and expects to receive it momentarily, so that he can ride for Team Quick-Step this season.

"We have applied for the license" from the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, the German federation, his attorney Michael Lehner told the sid news agency, "and assume that they will issue it."

The former Gerolsteiner rider tested positive for the new performance-enhancing drug CERA during the Tour de France, but has consistently denied having used the illegal susbstance. The German federation has not opened a case against Schumacher, although the French Anti-Doping Agency has. Lehner indicated that he thought the French investigation would be closed.

Before the positive tests were announced, Schumacher had signed a contract with the Belgian team Quick Step for 2009. Team manager Patrick Lefevere called the contract "void", but Schumacher and Lehner have continued to insist otherwise.

"Of course there are uncertainties, but the contract with Quick Step is valid," Lehner said.

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