The direction of Fumiyuki Beppu's 2010 season remains in limbo after discussions between RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel and Skil-Shimano concluded that the Japanese rider remains contractually committed to the Dutch squad.
Beppu was announced on Monday as part of RadioShack's 26-rider roster, despite having a year to run on his current contract with Skil-Shimano. The latter squad told Cyclingnews that they had spoken to Bruyneel, who confirmed that RadioShack had engaged Beppu on the basis of information provided by the rider.
"Johan Bruyneel confirmed that RadioShack has signed a contract with Beppu," said Skil-Shimano's press officer Benny Ceulen today. "He said RadioShack had trusted information provided by Beppu that said he was free to sign with their team, which he was not."
Skil-Shimano informed the International Cycling Union (UCI) of the situation on Tuesday. However, the sport's governing body is unlikely to be drawn further into the matter after RadioShack agreed to let Skil-Shimano resolve the conflict with Beppu themselves.
"Bruyneel agreed that we have a valid contract with Beppu and said he would step back and allow us to sort it out," said Ceulen. "He [Bruyneel] does not want to be involved in the discussions as it is a matter between our team and our rider."
Ceulen reaffirmed Skil-Shimano's intention that Beppu, who is currently at home in Japan, will complete the final year of his contract with the Pro Continental team.
"The team's lawyer will now get in touch with Beppu in order to clear things up," he said.
"Our goal is that Beppu will ride with Skil-Shimano in 2010."
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