Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in Colorado
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Omega Pharma-QuickStep awaits UCI’s stance on six-month ban
Speaking at the Tour of Beijing on Wednesday, manager Patrick Lefevere told Cyclingnews that he would wait for the UCI to ratify the ban before making a definitive decision on Leipheimer’s position. In the meantime, Leipheimer has been placed on non-active status by the team.
Leipheimer was one of six former US Postal riders – along with Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, George Hincapie, David Zabriskie and Michael Barry – to be handed a suspension on Wednesday after he provided testimony to USADA on doping practices within the team as part of the agency’s case against Lance Armstrong.
Although Leipheimer was strongly rumoured to have testified to before a grand jury regarding his doping practices during the federal investigation into the US Postal team in 2010, Lefevere claimed that he was not aware of the rider’s doping past when he signed him from RadioShack ahead of the 2012 season.
“This is a case from a long time ago, before he was with us. When he signed we didn’t know it. That’s already a fault of him,” Lefevere said. “The first rule of our internal rules is ‘I will never be involved in doping and I was never involved in doping’.
“The first time I heard about it was the day before the Tour de France. He said some things, a long story but no real stuff. Then in the last weeks, he told us that there were 10 or 11 people [potentially facing sanctions]. He said he didn’t know what USADA would do but he would keep us informed.”
Leipheimer subsequently requested not to ride the Grand Prix de Montréal and GP de Québec last month, so that he could serve his six-month suspension between September 1 and March 1, 2013.
“He asked not to ride in Canada so that he was free from September 1st. That was probably something that USADA
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