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"His name is reported in too many cases,” a spokesman tells De Telegraaf




09.10.2013 @ 10:24 Posted by Simon Knudstrup

Belkin has made an agreement with Luis-Leon Sanchez to buy the Spaniard out of the final two years of his contract. Sanchez has been linked to several doping cases which has prompted the Dutch team to reach the decision to terminate its association with the multiple Tour de France stage winner.


Luis-Leon Sanchez' association with the Belkin team has been a turbulent one and now the two parties have reached an agreement to bring it to an end. The Dutch team has bought the Spaniard of his contract that would have linked him to the team for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.


Sanchez has been involved in several doping cases in the past. In the USADA report of 2012, he was linked to banned doctor Michele Ferrari as it was claimed that Sanchez took part in a training camp with the controversial Italian in 2007. Sanchez admitted his association but refused to have doped.


In 2011, Sanchez' name turned up in the Operacion Galgo investigation when it was revealed that mountain biker Alberto Leon had tried to contact Luis-Leon Sanchez to set up a meeting with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes who was the centre of the Operacion Puerto scandal. The meeting never took place.


In January, Sanchez' name was linked to the Puerto case when NRC Handelsblatt alleged that Sanchez was Fuentes' client 26 with the code name Huerto. The paper had matched information about Huerto with Sanchez' race schedule and used this as the foundation for their allegations.


Sanchez joined Rabobank prior to the 2011 season and saved the team's otherwise lacklustre Tour de France campaign in both 2011 and 2012 when he won stages. When he won the Clasica San Sebastian shortly after the 2012 win, then-manager Harold Knebel decided to extend his contract until 2015, a contract that reportedly had a value of 2,4 million Euros.


In October 2012, Rabobank decided to terminate its sponsorship due to the many doping scandals in the sport and when the NRC Handelsblatt story broke, the team decided to suspend Sanchez until an internal investigation had been carried out. It didn't produce any conclusive evidence and so Sanchez returned to competition in the Tour of Belgium where he won the queen stage.


He wasn't selected for the Tour de France but went on to win a stage in the Tour de l'Ain in August before targeting the Vuelta. He had to bandon that race due to hypothermia and will never again wear a Belkin jersey. Most recently, he was selected for the world championships where he had a disappointing time trial before abandoning the road race.


It has not been announced whether Sanchez has signed a contract with another team.



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