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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.