Alberto Contador's Saxo Bank team keep hold of Tour status

Alberto Contador
Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador's Saxo Bank-SunGard team have kept their World Tour status despite having the Spaniard's points removed from their record.

Contador, 29, a three-time winner of the Tour de France, won 68% of Saxo's 2011 points total and is serving a two-year ban for a positive drugs test.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) asked for Saxo's licence to be revoked.

But the UCI's licence commission has ruled that Saxo can keep their tour status for 2012.

The commission decided that although Saxo do not meet the sporting requirements for their licence, the exceptional circumstances of Contador's ban meant they should be allowed to race this year.

But without Contador, the Danish team will have to improve considerably to stand a chance of securing enough points to race again in 2013.

They are currently bottom of the UCI world rankings, with just two points so far this year.

Contador was found to have traces of the banned substance clenbuterol in urine tests taken during the 2010 Tour de France.

His explanation - that he had eaten contaminated meat - was rejected by cycling's governing body.

As well as having his 2010 Tour de France victory annulled, none of Contador's successes in 2011 - including his victory in the Giro d'Italia - are now recognised.