British sport bosses want to bring the Tour de France back to London despite the doping scandals that have tarnished the event.
The Tour has been plunged into chaos this week as race leader Michael Rasmussen was sacked by his Rabobank team and thrown out of the race.
The Danish rider’s exit came hot on the heels of positive drug tests for Alexander Vinokourov and Cristian Moreni.
But UK Sport, the government agency who spent 500,000 pounds to stage the opening stage in the English capital this month, are still keen to host the Tour again.
The Grand Depart was watched by four million spectators and provided an estimated 115-million-pound boost to the economy.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has said the city could host the Tour again in 2013 or 2014 and a UK Sport spokesman told the Evening Standard: “We support the efforts to eradicate the drug cheats and we will stand by the sport rather than abandon it.
“The Grand Depart showed we are able to stage a world-class sporting event in London and there were two amazing days.”