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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Contador set to seal Astana move
Tour de France winner Alberto Contador
Contador has never failed a doping test and denies any wrongdoing
Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is poised to join the scandal-hit Astana team for next year after his Discovery Channel outfit disbanded.

Discovery's Johan Bruyneel is set to take up the manager's role at Astana, which withdrew from the Tour de France after a string of doping scandals.

"I've spoken with Johan Bruyneel and lacking only a few details, I'll go with him to Astana," Contador said.

"It is clear that the new Astana has nothing to do with the old team."

Former team leader Alexandre Vinokourov was dismissed by Astana after he tested positive for blood doping.

And two other riders from the team, Andrej Kashechkin and Matthias Kessler, have also failed doping tests this year.

I didn't receive any offers from Spain - I would have liked it

Alberto Contador

Astana, who are Kazakh-sponsored but based in Switzerland, took a month out of competition after the Tour de France and were not invited to race in the Tour of Spain.

The tarnished Tour de France, which also saw race leader Michael Rasmussen withdrawn for lying about his whereabouts to drugs testers, was blamed for the Discovery team's failure to secure a new sponsor.

Spaniard Contador himself was forced to deny any involvement in doping after he was linked to the Operation Puerto scandal, although he was cleared of wrongdoing.

"I've received various offers from important teams. I didn't receive any offers from Spain. I would have liked it but I can only hope for next time," he said.

Contador would have to work alongside Andreas Kloeden, who was co-leader at Astana with Vinokourov during this year's Tour.

Bruyneel, who managed Lance Armstrong to seven straight Tour titles from 1999-2005, had initially said he was retiring at the end of the season.

But he now looks set to move to Astana, and Spanish media say he will also bring Levi Leipheimer with him.

SEE ALSO
Contador insists he is drug-free
10 Aug 07 |  Cycling
Contador wins tainted 2007 Tour
29 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Vinokourov fired by Astana team
30 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Turning point for the Tour
29 Jul 07 |  Cycling


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