American Levi Leipheimer has been sacked by the Belgian Omega Pharma-QuickStep team after admitting that he doped during his professional career.

Leipheimer was one of 11 former team-mates of Lance Armstrong to have given statements to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in its investigation into claims that Armstrong and the US Postal cycling team ran an organised programme of doping.

Leipheimer admitted in a statement given on October 10 that he had used banned performance enhancing substances during his time with Armstrong’s team and others from 1999 to 2007. Omega Pharma-QuickStep placed him on ‘non active’ status after his admission, but has now terminated his contract. Leipheimer joined the team at the start of 2012 from RadioShack.

“We commend the rider for his open co-operation with USADA and contribution to cleaning up the sport of cycling,” said a statement from Omega Pharma-QuickStep issued on Tuesday.

“However, in the light of the disclosures made by Mr Leipheimer in his public statement on 10th of October the team has decided to terminate the contract.”

“This decision has the full support of the team owner, the board represented by Mr Bessel Kok and team manager Mr Patrick Lefevere.”

The 38-year-old will now face an uphill struggle to secure a contract for 2013, particularly since he is now serving a six-month suspension served by USADA for admitting to doping.

This year, Leipheimer won the Tour de San Luis and a stage of the Tour of Utah, and placed third in the Tour de Suisse.

Related links


USADA’s Armstrong doping report in brief





Leipheimer, Zabriskie, Vande Velde and Danielson all admit to doping



USADA publishes details of Amrstrong doping case



UCI responds to USADA Armstrong doping evidence



Former Armstrong team-mate Barry: Doping had become an epidemic problem



Hincapie admits to doping during career

External link



Link to USADA’s full Reasoned Decision document and all supporting evidence

 

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  • milton

    I see the same old names spitting out their bile . I just wonder if this whole thing will not put cycling back years .in this commercial world firms who are willing to sponsor cycling teams are few and far between , i can see many of the present sponsors pulling out at the end of the present contracts.the argument that this will clear the decks and usher in a whole new era of pro racing is perhaps a pipe dream once sponsors go they will not come back non matter how clean the sport is suppose to be .I do not condone doping in any way and have said in the past that people who do indulge should be banned for life , but i would say that this present crusade is a two edged sword that will do as much harm as good .a line should have been drawn under the whole sorry business however odious this may seem to some of the more saintly of your commentators. sometimes in life you have to cut cards with the devil this i think is one of those times , awful as it may seem these people will not suffer that much in the outside world most have retired anyway ,instead of digging and scraping at the past , we should be looking to the present and future to make sure that the whole thing dose not happen again for gods sake doping was rife in the 1920 s how far back would some of these vindictive little saints want to go ? I have been a cyclist for over 60 years and will carry on being a cyclist for as long as i am able what make me smile is when i read of people whimpering and crying that this business has ie put them off the sort they love ] these people need to grow up or perhaps they need some real problems in their lives . as for usada the least said about that lot the better in my opinion they are not the saints that they try to paint themselves they will try to prolong this whole thing for as long as they can after all it is in their interest to be in the news

  • Graham Eheridge

    As has been stated this will not help other guys come “clean”, sure some kind of sanction, but these riders should be encouraged to get it off their chest.
    And is this te same Lefevre who was in charge when Museuwe was getting all his “wins”!!?
    Many of these DS’s are still in their jobs!?

  • Colnago dave

    Given the fact that by micro dosing it can virtually be undetected and all the other methods detailed by Tyler Hamilton including the advance notification of drug testing he mentions can we really be sure that Levi and his cohorts were racing clean up till now.
    Remember that a lot of the heads that are now rolling were asked if they had taken drugs in the past and declared NO .
    Given the fact that drug testing is probably still behind the drugs in use can we honestly believe that riders who should be past their prime are clean and that all of them seem to declare that it was only during the USPS years that they indulged.
    So are we to believe that in 2006 for instance ALL of them just stopped !!
    Remember that most of them who then tested positive had signed for other teams when they tested positive for drugs and were no longer under the protective embrace of Lance and Johan.
    I remember reading in Cycling several years ago just previous to when Heras failed the test how in the Tour he could not climb the stairs yet in the Vuelta a month later nobody could stay with him in the mountains

  • Sam1

    This is just a cycnical move by Lefevre – excuse to get a 38 yr old GC guy of the roster and free up money to fund Cav.

  • JM

    This is an interesting tightrope for the teams to walk. On the one hand a zero tolerance policy towards drug cheats is good. On the other, if th penalty for putting one’s hand up and co-operating with the authorities is to be cast out without redemption, then that is likely to act as a disincentive in future to coming forward.

  • Terry

    Good, now do the same for the rest and impose some form ban effectively ending their careers- harsh but now essential.
    Next, start on the UCI hierarchy followed by ASO top management who, by implication allowed LA to produce 500+ negative tests- assuming there is forensic evidence that he did dope.
    This evidence has so far failed to materialise, are eyewitness accounts sufficient when there have been no positive tests?

  • steve clarke

    This is only the beginning…
    Many more heads will roll over this.
    The USADA report could be the BEST thing to happen in cycling for years!
    Now, lets see some heads roll at the UCI!!!!!

  • timC

    Levi is a good guy, great rider, clean now along with the others.. should not have been let go Omega..

  • paul

    This is joke.
    I’m not a Levi fan or anything, but surely this sets a bad precedent. I mean if they all come clean surely half the pro peleton would have to be sacked???
    Just when you thought there might be a chance of the whole truth coming out.