The Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team has commended Floyd Landis on his courage, while announcing a parting of ways with the rider. In the same announcement Bahati confirmed that OUCH Medical Center has withdrawn its sponsorship of the squad.
“Due to the media intensive environment, the team and Floyd Landis have decided to amicably part ways,” read the statement. “We support his courage to come forward in an effort to facilitate a drug free and fair sport.
“The team is working to update sponsorship and continue supporting the mission of the Bahati Foundation,” it continued. “The Foundation supports youth in inner-city through the sport of cycling and GIVEBACK programs.”
OUCH counts amongst its staff long-time Landis supporter Dr. Brent Kay, who has maintained his support of Landis since the rider’s e-mail confessing to doping were leaked last week. As a title sponsor OUCH followed Landis from the now UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis squad to Bahati’s team this year.
“The Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team will be moving forward without the continued support of OUCH Medical Center due to the recent turbulent media environment,” said the statement. “We are extremely thankful to Dr. Brent Kay for his generous support and respect his decision to minimize involvement in the cycling world at this time.”
Landis’ claims of doping within the peloton over a period from 2002-2006 has sent shockwaves through the sport. It has led to investigations being launched in five countries against the accused riders and team staff, while the International Cycling Union (UCI) has faced increased pressure after it admitted to accepting a $100,000 donation from Lance Armstrong while he was competing, prior to his first retirement from the sport.
Both Landis and Kay were present at the OUCH Medical Center corporate tent at the Amgen Tour of California last week.