Just a short update on the state of the Contador-Astana relationship as of this morning. Feel free to add reports that you see throughout the day. So far, the most clear explanation I've seen comes from Joe Lindsey at the Boulder Report. I certainly recommend it for anyone interested in this story.
The relationship between Contador and his Astana team remains in question today, after a flurry of media reports yesterday that a UCI rule passed in July of this year could free him from his un-wanted contract with Astana. The rule allows for the termination of rider contracts if the team does not receive a pro tour license by October 20. According to reports in today's Spanish press, Contador's lawyers are studying the matter and are not certain that the path to freedom is as straightforward as some have presented it.
As Joe Lindsey points out in one of the more clear explanations of the situation to date, the precedent is not entirely clear on this issue. Pierrick Fédrigo, for example, tried to leave his Bouygues Télécom team after the team did not receive a pro tour license, but was prevented from doing so by French labor law. The UCI rule may also not apply to contracts signed before the rule came into force.
Unfortunately for us, who wait in suspense of the outcome of this story, we do not know the details of Contador's contract with Astana. It's also not clear which country's labor laws would govern the relationship and whether those laws conflict with the UCI rule. So we must wait still a bit longer before we know the eventual destination of the two-time Tour winner.