The Omega Pharma-Lotto team has announced it has terminated the contract of Australian climber Matt Lloyd, citing behavioral reasons but specifying it is not because of problems with performance enhancing drugs.
Lloyd won the climber's competition at the 2010 Giro d'Italia but had a difficult winter after being hit by a car in Melbourne in December. He underwent surgery on his shoulder and also suffered spinal injuries.
He made a comeback at the recent Vuelta al Pais Vasco in Spain but pulled out of the race before the final time trial stage.
"We wish to inform you that the collaboration between Matthew Lloyd and the Omega Pharma-Lotto team is discontinued," the team said in a statement on its website.
"Recent incidents during the first races disputed in 2011 by Matthew for our team made this collaboration impossible. Our team's image cannot be connected to Matthew's behaviour any more, therefore the unanimous decision taken by the BCC board of directors. We follow a policy of zero tolerance of which we cannot divert.
"For the sake of clarity: this has nothing to do with the use of forbidden products. We also want to respect Matthew's privacy."
Lloyd had hoped to ride the Giro d'Italia but hinted at his problems in a message on his personal website after he did not ride the Volta a Catalunya.
"I’m not going to try and smash everyone’s eye-balls in with different physical and mental reasons trying to justify why I didn't race, but it wasn’t happening. Obviously!!" he wrote.
"Of late, subconscious elements have crept in slowly and steadily leading to a bogus phase of being so eager to be involved mixed with the slow process of recovery we cannot be 100 percent sure the first race will be of the highest quality, but thankfully the people surrounding me have blessed me with the confidence to once again feel the heat around the corner. Not to mention a brilliant team who’ve given me the opportunity to once again step it up a notch in order to remain directly driven towards the event I anticipate the most - The Giro D’Italia..
"If I've been bleeding in places you cant see, and feeling the affects of doors being locked, I’ve called the people who change the locks, and the gate is open...All I have to do is ‘open the gate’.."