Swiss bike manufacturer BMC has announced today that it has withdrawn its sponsorship of the Astana team.

BMC supplied all of Astana’s bikes, and were due to continue sponsorship until the end of the 2007 season. However, as a result of Alexandre Vinokourov’s positive test result for blood doping during the Tour de France, the company have terminated the contract with immediate effect.

The company have so far not enjoyed a great association with professional cycling, having also been the bike supplier to the defunct Phonak squad. Last year’s Tour winner Floyd Landis – the leader of the Phonak squad – tested positive for testosterone during that event. Phonak disbanded at the end of 2006 after the squad’s main sponsor pulled the plug.

BMC have stated that they are reviewing their commitment to supply machines to a ProTour team, although sponsorship of other cycling disciplines will continue unaffected.

BMC: www.bmc-racing.com.