Rumours of late salaries, dis-invitation to Tour de France and Schlecks looking to leave
The crisis around RadioShack-Nissan continues to grow amid reports of delayed salary payments, a possible revoked invitation for the Tour de France and rumours that Fränk and Andy Schleck may leave the team.
The latter two possibilities are related to Johan Bruyneel's involvement in the USADA's Lance Armstrong investigation. The RadioShack team manager faces up to a lifetime ban if he is found to have violated the anti-doping regulations.
The team has not responded to Cyclingnews' requests for comments, and neither the team nor Bruyneel has publicly commented on the situation. The Luxembourg website wort.lu reported that the UCI on Thursday told Bruyneel that he must report to them on his position.
The French sports newspaper L'Equipe reported on Friday that the Schleck brothers are preparing to leave the team. Their lawyer is said to have already started negotiations with the directors of other teams over contracts for the next season.
In addition, French website rmcsport.fr reports that Tour organizer ASO may cancel the team's invitation to the Tour in light of Bruyneel's involvement. Race director Christian Prudhomme would neither confirm not deny that to the French website.
The Schleck brothers do not have a good relationship with team financier Flavio Becca, according to wort.lu. The Luxembourg businessman's firm Leopard S.A., which is responsible for the team, was late in paying May salaries, reported Blick.ch. Becca is further said to be involved in a governmental scandal, and to be under investigation for tax problems and/or embezzlement. Becca, who is also said to be heavily in debt, had his house and business searched by the police last year.
The only piece of good news for the Schlecks is that they have both been nominated to the Luxembourg Olympic team. Andy Schleck has had to withdraw from the Tour de France squad with a fractured pelvic bone, but will be able to ride again in the Olympic road race, according to the Luxembourg media.