Omega Pharma-Quickstep loses sponsor

The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team has lost one of its secondary sponsors, Sporza reported today. Kuwait Petroleum International, or Q8, has decided to stop sponsoring cycling, but insists its choice has nothing to do with the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

"Our decision has nothing to do with the recent doping stories," the company stated.

"We have had seven beautiful years in cycling. Now we want to pursue other objectives with our sponsorship. This decision was taken in August."

In addition to Quickstep, Q8 also had its name associated with the Belgian Classics Liège-Bastogne-Liège and La Flèche Wallonne.

In August, Lance Armstrong lost his appeal to a Texas court to block the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) from pursuing doping charges against him, and then refused to fight the lifetime ban and disqualification of his results to an arbitration panel, his only recourse for appeal.

One of the riders who testified against Armstrong was Levi Leipheimer, a member of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team until he was given a six-month ban for admitting to doping.

USADA's reasoned decision was finally issued on October 10, 2012, and since then all of Armstrong's personal sponsors have turned their backs on him, although they remain loyal to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, or Livestrong as it is known.

In the wake of the fallout, Rabobank announced it would no longer put its name behind its professional cycling teams, although it stood by its financial obligations to the team.

Two other cycling sponsors, Spidertech and Chipotle, have also withdrawn from professional cycling, both insisting that doping was not the reason.

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