Team sponsors are withdrawing their dollars from cycling, many after several years of cycling, in the wake of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency documents detailing performance-enhancing drug use in cycling in the past two decades.
Kuwait Petroleum International, or Q8, is the latest to leave, dropping its support of Belgium’s Omega Pharma-Lotto team after eight years. Omega rider Levi Leipheimer, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, testified to USADA and received a six-month ban for past doping (he has been clean since 2006.)
Q8 also partially sponsored two cycling races in Belgium, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and La Flèche Wallonne.
The company claimed that the decision was not related to the USADA evidence.
Earlier this week Dutch bank Rabobank ended its professional cycling sponsorship after 17 years, explicitly stating that drug use was the reason.
Two other major sponsors, Spidertech which supported an excellent U.S. Continental team and Chipotle, which had backed Garmin, have also announced their withdrawal from the sport. Both claimed past drug use was not a factor in their decisions.