The organizers of the Tour de France announced Wednesday that the Astana team of defending champion Alberto Contador will not be invited to compete in the race or in any other event organized by Amaury Sport Organisation.
Citing a two-year history of doping scandal, ASO noted it would be inappropriate to allow the team to compete despite a complete shake-up of team management and significant changes on the squad’s roster.
With Contador and American Levi Leipheimer on Astana, the team includes two podium finishers from last year’s Tour.
Contador, who also won ASO's early season stage race, Paris-Nice, was not a part of the Astana team in 2007. He and Leiphemer were both part of the U.S.-based Discovery Channel team, which folded at the end of the season. Contador, however, has been named in connection with the now-closed Operacion Puerto investigation in Spain.
The decision by ASO comes after Giro d'Italia organizers opted not to invite the team to this year's edition of Italy's grand tour.