RadioShack-Leopard have confirmed that Fränk Schleck will not be rejoining the team when his ban expires a week on Sunday - in effect, sacking him. The 33-year-old, third overeall in the 2011 Tour de France, tested positive for the diuretic xipamide during last year's race, with the positive test being announced on the second rest day in Pau and in January was handed a partially backdated, 12-month ban.
In a statement, the team said:
With the end of Fränk Schleck's suspension approaching, Leopard and its partners have assessed the situation in view of a possible renewal of the collaboration with Fränk Schleck. Having finalized this assessment in a broad and objective way, Leopard has decided to not renew the collaboration between Fränk Schleck and the RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK cycling team.
Leopard wishes Fränk Schleck a successful continuation of his career.
News that the senior Schleck sibling won't be returning to the team whose line-up at the Tour de France includes his brother Andy, himself looking to put a difficult 12 months behind him since fracturing his sacrum in the 2012 Criterium du Dauphine, is perhaps unsurprising.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that bicycle manufacturer Trek will be taking over the licence from Leopard SA at the end of the season.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.