Levi Leipheimer was fired by the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step professional cycling team following his admission of performance-enhancing drug use tied to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation of Lance Armstrong.
“We commend the rider for his open cooperation with USADA and contribution to cleaning up the sport of cycling,” the team said on its website. “However, in the light of the disclosures made by Mr. Leipheimer in his public statement on 10th of October the team has decided to terminate the contract.”
Leipheimer, 38, was in his first year riding for the team. He’s participated in the Tour de France 10 times since turning professional in 1997, finishing third in 2007, and he also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics.
“By 1999 I had come to believe that in order to be successful in professional cycling it was necessary to use performance-enhancing drugs,” Leipheimer said in an affidavit provided to USADA, one of several from former teammates of Armstrong that led the agency to accuse Armstrong of a doping conspiracy and eventually strip of him of his record seven Tour de France championships.
Leipheimer stated that he used the banned blood-booster Erythropoietin, known as EPO, for several years, as well as testosterone and blood transfusions.
Leipheimer and five other riders were suspended for six months, retroactive to Sept. 1, for their admissions of drug use.