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The RadioShack Nissan team on a training ride along the Spanish coast
Auto maker may follow Rabobank's example
Auto maker Nissan is reportedly pulling its name from the RadioShack squad for 2013, according to reports from the Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien.
Nissan renewed its co-title sponsorship with the team of Flavio Becca in 2011 through the 2013 season, and presumably it will follow the example of Rabobank in fulfilling those contractual obligations whilst distancing itself from its association with the team.
While no reason was given in the report, the RadioShack team has been at the center of the doping controversies that have embroiled the sport this year. First its now-former manager Johan Bruyneel faced a public battle against the US Anti-Doping Agency over allegations of a team-wide doping conspiracy dating back to his US Postal Service years. Then, in July, Frank Schleck tested positive for a banned substance during the Tour de France in a case that is still under arbitration, causing sponsor Enovos to pull out.
Becca merged his Leopard-Trek operation with Armstrong and Bruyneel's RadioShack-Nissan team in 2011 prior to the USADA's charges against the pair after bank-rolling the first year of the Luxembourg team.