Björn Leukemans has been dismissed by Predictor - Lotto after the team received official confirmation that his B-sample had tested positive for testosterone. The 30 year-old had originally tested positive in an out-of-competition control on September 26, but went on to compete at the Stuttgart World Championships, finishing 13th in the road race.
"The regulations are what they are," team manager Marc Sergeant told Sporza. "A positive 'A' and 'B' sample means dismissal."
Leukemans has made no comment on the decision, heeding advice from his lawyer, but previously asserted his innocence by saying that his testosterone level was naturally high and that he was having sex when the testers arrived, which would elevate his testosterone count. However, doping experts have maintained that neither story would explain away the synthetic testosterone found in his sample using the carbon isotope test conducted in Cologne, Germany.
Sergeant said that the Predictor - Lotto team, which will be called Silence - Lotto next season, has a zero tolerance policy towards doping. "The team has one target: to race clean," he said. "The sponsors also stand behind that. Now we want nothing more to do with the affair. These things can drag on for a long time. Leukemans has no future with us."
Under the ProTour ethical charter Leukemans could be fined a year's salary if found guilty at a Flemish cycling federation disciplinary committee hearing on January 10.