The fallout from South African David George's positive for EPO and admission to doping continues as his former Team 360Life squad has lost Nedbank as a sponsor over the affair.
Nedbank, one of the major sponsors of cycling in South Africa, has said it would continue in other aspects of the sport, "particularly youth development and events which benefit our clients, staff and communities".
The company will also continue to support cycling events such as the Tour de Tuli, Sani2C and the Pick n Pay Cape Argus. "There will be no change to our level of support of these events," a statement said.
George tested positive in an out-of-competition control on August and subsequently admitted to doping. He faces disqualification from two prominent mountain bike stage races, the Cape Pioneer Trek, which he and teammate Kevin Evans won, and the Cape Epic, in which he and Evans took second overall.
"Nedbank’s decision was made all the more difficult given the immediate impact it has on riders Kevin Evans and James Reid who have represented Team 360Life and their sport commendably. This decision is in no way a reflection on either rider, but purely a consequence of recent events.
"Nedbank will continue to remunerate Kevin and James to the end of their contract periods, to ensure that they are not financially impacted by this decision."
The company also stated that David George's salary would be donated to the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport.
Evans was disappointed to lose his sponsor. "I realise how hard this decision has been for Nedbank but will continue to support them in their contribution to the development of cycling as well as their participation in a number of events in the cycling calendar," he said.
"I have been a professional mountain biker since 2003, ridden the biggest events in the world and had many highs and lows. Tuesday’s news came as an all-time low in my career. What my teammate did was wrong and for that he will face the relevant punishment, as he was prepared to face by his own admission.
"No one can ever know, no matter how close you are, what happens in any ones lives behind the scenes. It goes without saying that the repercussions are far bigger than what we assume."
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