BOURG D’OISANS, France (Reuters) - Saunier Duval officially announced on Thursday that they were withdrawing their sponsorship of the cycling team that bears their name because of doping scandals.
The Saunier Duval team left the Tour de France after it was revealed last week that Italian Riccardo Ricco had tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO.
Ricco was fired along with team mate Leonardo Piepoli, although Piepoli had not failed a dope test.
“Saunier Duval has ended its contract with the cycling team with immediate effect,” the heating equipment company said in a statement.
The team’s second sponsor, bicycle company Scott, said they would continue to support the squad managed by Mauro Gianetti.
“Scott thinks that the situation the team coped with during the Tour de France resulted from individual choices and that the team and their managers did everything they could to avoid this kind of situation,” Scott said in a statement.
Barloworld also ended their sponsorship of their cycling team after Spaniard Moises Duenas Nevado tested positive for EPO on the Tour de France.