UCI boss urges Contador to attack over Tour exclusion

McQuaid says he'll back Spanish TdF champion

Cycling boss Pat McQuaid on Friday promised to back reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador should he decide to take legal action over his exclusion with the Astana team from this year's race.

The tour's organisers, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), ruled on February 13 that Contador's Astana team would be barred from competing in this year's race as a result of doping scandals over the past two years. But International Cycling Union (UCI) president McQuaid believes the decision is unfair.

"If Contador decides to take legal action in Spain or internationally myself and the UCI will give evidence in his favour and I will be a witness," McQuaid told the daily El Mundo.

"I know Contador and the people around him and I know that he is a clean and honest rider," added McQuaid of the rider who has had to fend off questions regarding his alleged links to Spanish blood-doping probe Operation Puerto.

The UCI president has already slammed the ASO's decision, stating he "would do everything" he could to ensure Contador was at the starting line.

The 25-year-old Spaniard has however not indicated that he intends to take legal action, saying he wants to concentrate on the Olympics and Tour of Spain.

© AFP 2008

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