Get accused of dope-crimes? Lose $10m team funding - BikeBiz

Get accused of dope-crimes? Lose $10m team funding

Spanish insurance company Liberty Seguros has today terminated its sponsorshop with the pro cycling team of the same name. Team boss Manolo Saiz was detained by police earlier in week following a Spanish dope investigation. Saiz was released but the detention was too much for the insurance company, still smarting after the November 2005 suspension of Liberty Seguros rider Roberto Heras.
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A statement from the insurance company said:

"As sponsors, Liberty Seguros 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 rigourous 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 and will respect outstanding financial obligations."

The sponsorship contract was believed to be worth 8 million euros, $10.2m, a year.

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