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Joint sponsor leaves team
Nissan has confirmed that it will cease its joint sponsor venture of the RadioShack Nissan team with immediate affect. It was reported on Thursday that the car manufacturing giant would pull back from the sport but comply with its financial commitments to the cycling team through 2013, when their deal was contractually due to finish.Today Nissan confirmed that they would honor their financial obligations with the team but that their jersey and team sponsorship would cease immediately.
Nissan renewed its co-title sponsorship with the team of Flavio Becca in 2011 through the 2013 season, but after a hugely damaging year for the team and cycling as a whole, Nissan has pulled out.
The team were heavily tied to USADA’s investigation into Lance Armstrong (a former rider of the team) and the US Postal team. RadioShack’s Johan Bruyneel was forced to leave the team, while Frank Schleck failed a drug test during this year’s Tour de France.
Coupled with a lack of results, David Reuter, the vice-president of Nissan Americas, told the Guardian, "Nissan and the management team of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek cycling have reached an agreement that provides for Nissan's immediate withdrawal as a sponsor of the team, while enabling the team to continue competing in the upcoming 2013 season.”
The move follows a similar play from Rabobank, the Dutch bank that had financed a professional cycling team since 1996. However they pulled out of the sport immediately after the USADA case against Armstrong was finalised. They too decided to financially support a squad for 2013 but their name will not appear on the team’s jersey.