(Reuters) - American rider Levi Leipheimer has been sacked by the Quick-Step Cycling Team after admitting he took banned substances as part of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation into doping in the sport.
The 38-year-old Leipheimer was one of 11 former team mates of Lance Armstrong to testify against the seven-times Tour de France winner who was stripped of those titles and banned for life by USADA in August.
“Quick-Step Cycling Team announces that the contract with Mr Leipheimer has been terminated, effective immediately,” the team said in a statement on Tuesday.
”We commend the rider for his open co-operation with USADA and contribution to cleaning up the sport of cycling.
“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.”
Leipheimer’s best results include finishing second in the 2008 Vuelta and third in the 2007 Tour de France. He also won a road time trial bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Armstrong decided not to fight the doping charges laid against him but has always maintained his innocence.
Writing by Pritha Sarkar in London, editing by Ken Ferris