Thursday, May 25, 2006

Festina Affair Part Deux?

[photo caption] Team Liberty Seguros in better days. And without matching sneakers. (photo courtesy UCI.ch)

Huge news out of the Giro today: team Liberty Seguros is no more. With the arrest of Directeur Sportif Manolo Saiz and other team associates in Spain yesterday, insurance company Liberty Seguros cancelled, effective immediately, it's sponsorship of the Spanish team.

Here's the official statement from the Liberty Seguros offices (per VeloNews):
"As sponsors, we have always wanted to promote a culture of fair play and zero tolerance with respect to doping. In November 2005 after the suspension of a rider (Roberto Heras) for doping we made our contract one of the most rigorous with regard to this subject. The implications and consequences of the detention of Manolo Saiz are highly worrying - they damage our name and the name of cycling. We have cancelled our agreement with the owners of the team (Active Bay) and will respect outstanding financial obligations."

This situation casts a huge doubt on the team's ability to race in the Tour de France. Moreover, should the team not race, what happens to perennial challenger Alexandre Vinokourov? Will he be able to transfer teams in time?

Perhaps the most fascinating piece of information is this nugget, reported by VeloNews:
"Police sorting through the records of the doctor arrested along with Liberty director Manolo Saiz say that they have come across a rather extensive list of clients. According to news reports from Spain today, records indicate that several high profile cyclists, including T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, were among Eufemiano Fuentes's patients."

Is this the end for Der Kaiser?


Anonymous super rookie said...

cycling is about to get fucked.


and people still think lance and tyler are innocent!

bend over protour.

Thu May 25, 07:59:00 AM 2006

Blogger AdamB said...

You're shitting me.

Oh shit.

Thu May 25, 08:10:00 AM 2006


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