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Cyclist Contador ducks court in doping case

Former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will not testify at the Operacion Puerto trial in defence of Manolo Sainz, his former manager at the Liberty Seguros cycling team, the defendant's lawyer confirmed on Tuesday.

Cyclist Contador ducks court in doping case
A pensive Alberto Contador awaits the kick-off of the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman on February 15. Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP

Sainz is on trial along with four others, including the principal accused Eufemiano Fuentes, for endangering public health by green-lighting blood transfusions.

"Looking at how the process is developing, I will not call Alberto Contador as a witness," the cyclist's lawyer Ignacio Arroyo told reporters.

Contador was all set to testify on Friday, but Arroyo claimed his decision not to call the Spaniard was a sign the case was going well for his client.

"Looking at how things are developing every day during the case, I believe that certain things are on the right path with respect to my client."

On Monday the court heard that the doping substance Synacthen found in his residence when he was arrested along with Fuentes in 2006 was in fact given to
the team by the Spanish Medical Agency.

In another twist in the trial, though, the judge, Julia Patricia Santamaría, confirmed that another cyclist due to testify on Friday, Angel Vicioso, cannot be located.

Watch Contador's victory in the 2010 Tour de France below: 

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CYCLING

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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