The Saunier Duval cycling team look set to be excluded from the Tour of Germany because of doping, race organisers revealed on Tuesday.
The elite team withdrew from the Tour de France last week after Italian rider Riccardo Ricco failed a dope test – they subsequently sacked both him and compatriot Leonardo Piepoli, who had won the prestigious stage on July 14.
However that move has failed to placate the Tour of Germany chiefs, whose race runs from August 29 to September 6.
“There is absolutely no question of having Saunier Duval on the starting line,” race director Kai Rapp told Suddeutsche Zeitung in an interview to appear on Wednesday.
According to Rapp he is totally within his rights as the team have sullied the image of the sport, which under the International Cycling Union (UCI) charter entitles a team to have their licence withdrawn.
“In Saunier Duval’s case I think they (Saunier Duval) fill that criteria 100 percent,” said Rapp.