SPORTS

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador to return from doping ban at next month's Eneco Tour

07/11/2012 09:33 EDT | Updated 09/10/2012 05:12 EDT
MADRID - Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador says his first race after serving a doping ban will be next month's Eneco Tour, where he will line up for Team Saxo Bank again.

Contador has been banned since February for a positive clenbuterol test taken en route to winning the 2010 Tour de France title, which he was subsequently stripped of.

The seven-stage Eneco Tour through the Netherlands and Belgium begins on Aug. 6, Contador's first day of eligibility to compete again.

"This race will be very special to me for a few reasons, in the first place since it will be my return to competition, which is what I'm so looking forward to," Contador said on his personal website. "And I'm excited to return here in an area with so much cycling culture. ... I've always felt at home (in this area)."

The 29-year-old Contador, a two-time Tour de France champion, is using the race as a warm-up for the Spanish Vuelta on Aug. 18, where he will be vying for his second triumph in the Spanish classic. He missed this year's Tour and Giro d'Italia because of his ban.

"The route is not favourable to me, but my fundamental objective will be to find my competition rhythm to be able to comply with the end-of-season objectives," Contador said.

Contador was stripped of his 2010 title after sports' highest court rejected his claim that contaminated meat caused him to fail a drug test.

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