Garate sues Belkin over lack of contract

Spaniard seeks two and a half years salary

Juan Manuel Garate will file suit tomorrow against the Belkin Pro Cycling Team, claiming that under Dutch law the team must continue to pay him, even though he now has no contract with the team.

The Spaniard first signed for the then Team Rabobank in 2009. In the Haarlem Court, he will argue that under Dutch collective-agreement law, he is entitled to a one-half month's salary for every year that he was with the team, since the team did not start dismissal actions against him. Since he was with Rabobank/Belkin for five years, he would be eligible for 2.5 years salary.

When a contract is not renewed, the athlete must be given a three-month notice, Garate's lawyer told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “When no new contract is signed, you can continue using the old contract.”

The team had offered the 37-year-old a new contract for the 2014 season, which he is said to have verbally accepted but never signed. It was reported that the contract was for only 40% of his previous salary. It was announced in February that Garate did not have a contract, although he had attended the team's pre-season training camp.

He has refused to disclose his reasons for not signing. “My reasons are private,” he explained. "If Belkin needs me, I am ready to come back. But at the moment I am not welcome with Belkin. It's a personal thing and has nothing to do with money. And no, it’s not to do with doping either."

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