Shorts: Hondo, Balears, Dekker, Lance

Hondo banned for a year, Illes Balears name 11 for Tour, Dekker to go for another season, Hewlett Pa

Hondo banned for a year, Illes Balears name 11 for Tour, Dekker to go for another season, Hewlett Pa


Former Gerolsteiner rider Danilo Hondo has been suspended for a year by the Swiss Cycling Federation after testing positive for carphedon earlier this season. The Swiss-based German tested positive for the product after winning the time trial at the Tour of Murcia in March. A second year's ban was suspended for the next five years, meaning that the sprinter could return to competition next April, although the ProTour's ethical charter prevents him from returning to competition at that level for four years. He was also fined 50,000 Swiss francs. Hondo was also stripped of the Murcia time trial win, which will now pass to Comunitat Valenciana's Ruben Plaza.

- Illes Balears have named their pre-selection of riders for the Tour de France. Francisco Mancebo, Vladimir Karpets, Alejandro Valverde, David Arroyo, Daniel Becke, Ivan Gutierrez, Chente Garcia Acosta, Mikel Pradera, Xabier Zandio, Joan Horrach and Unai Osa are the 11 working towards the Tour, with the latter two the most likely to miss out. The Spanish team have also said that they will be signing four or five French riders next season following the arrival of the French Caisse d'Epargne savings bank as a main sub-sponsor.

- Erik Dekker has confirmed that he will continue riding until the end of the 2006 season, when he will retire. "I want to leave the sport at a good level and I think I can keep that level for another season," said the Rabobank rider, who will be 35 in August. "I am riding in a great team with a great sponsor. In addition, there are a lot of talented riders in our team and I am keen to be able to contribute towards their progress next year."

- Computer company Hewlett Packard are backing Lance Armstrong's campaign against cancer by producing a customised version of their L2000 laptop. Dubbed the Livestrong and carrying Lance Armstrong's signature next to the keyboard, the laptop also comes with a free Livestrong wristband and a pair of yellow headphones. $50 from the sale of each device will be given to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

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