Mauro Gianetti, the manager of the former Saunier Duval team announced Friday that the team had added a new title sponsor. In addition to Scott, the team added American Beef as co-title sponsor. The team also announced it would challenge the decision of former sponsor Saunier Duval to withdraw its sponsorship following the doping case of Italian Riccardo Riccò at the Tour de France.
"The team protested through its lawyers, [the] motives invoked by Saunier Duval to break the contract of sponsorship," Gianetti wrote in the statement which was co-signed by directeur sportif Joxean Matxin Fernandez.
According to the statement, Saunier Duval has been looking to pull out of cycling even before the Tour de France because of "the adoption of new commercial strategies". "We can not disclaim the fact that they took the opportunity of one of their riders' suspension to adopt this decision which was already carefully planned."
Saunier Duval was the sponsor of Gianetti's team beginning in 2004, but ended the relationship after Riccardo Riccò tested positive in the Tour, and the team withdrew from the race and fired Riccò and his compatriot Leonardo Piepoli for a "violation of the code of ethics."
The team temporarily suspended its racing activities, but will return to competition at the August 2nd Classic of San Sebastian. The team has also asked Unipublic, organizers of the Vuelta, a chance to regain its invitation to the Spanish tour.