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Up to one quarter of sum owed not paid for fear of “money laundering”
The Schleck brothers and Fabian Cancellara were the RadioShack-NIssan riders who complained to the UCI about non-payment of salaries, a spokesman for Leopard SA has said. The company confirmed that up to a quarter of their payments were being held back for fear of "money laundering."
"Of course it has surprised us that the Schlecks and Fabian Cancellara complained to the UCI,” Leopard spokesman Carlo Rock told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “And Jakob Fuglsang has even sued us, the case is in court."
The German newspaper estimated that the Schlecks are owed around 500,000 Euro, with 150,000 owed to Fuglsang. Leopard said over the weekend that the UCI had reviewed its financials and given the team its blessing.
Rock laid the blame for the payment problems on the riders, especially Andy and Fränk Schleck. "Perhaps the two of them don't understand the complicated rules of the UCI. And in Luxembourg there are courts, they can go there and then – like Fuglsang – they can sue us."
The firm has held back approximately one-quarter of what is owed to the riders, the so-called "image rights." Rock said it was because the riders had asked the payment to be made "to accounts with non-transparent backgrounds. We must be sure that we do not support money laundering."
Fränk Schleck has refused to comment on the issue, but Jens Voigt said that he had no such payment problems. "I can confirm that my money appears on time every month in my account," he told wort.lu.