Popular cyclist Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa has been dropped from the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling team because of his admission to taking performance-enhancing drugs, team officials announced Tuesday.
It is the latest fallout in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency case against cycling icon Lance Armstrong, who won an unprecedented seven Tour de France titles and is admired for raising money to fight cancer. The anti-doping agency last week released a 1,000-page report of its investigation into Armstrong, who has denied virtually every drug allocation leveled against him over the past decade.
Eleven former Armstrong teammates including Leipheimer gave damning testimony to anti-doping agency investigators. Leipheimer admitted to using drugs between 1999 and 2007 while riding for Saturn, U.S. Postal Service, Rabobank, Gerolsteiner and Astana.
He finished third in the 2007 Tour de France, won the 2007 U.S. pro road race, won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics and is a three-time winner of the Amgen Tour of California.
Leipheimer accepted a six-month suspension that would make him eligible for the 2013 season -- if he finds another team.
"We commend the rider for his open cooperation with USADA and contribution to cleaning up the sport of cycling," Quick Step officials said in a statement. "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."
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