Bjarne Riis has been suspended as manager of Tinkoff-Saxo, the cycling team of two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador and Slovak Peter Sagan confirmed on Tuesday.
Riis, 50, has not been “actively involved in the team’s activities since last Sunday,” the outfit confirmed.
Team mambers claim the club’s billionaire Russian owner Oleg Tinkov blames the 50-year-old Dane for poor results.
But in a statement Tinkoff-Saxo insisted the former cyclist “was not suspended from his active role because of lack of results nor for financial issues”.
“The team’s management has full confidence in the technical and performance team, in all the riders and staff members and is currently working to establish the best way forward in the racing season.”
Riis won the 1996 Tour de France, but admitted in 2007 that he used EPO (erythropoietin) to secure victory, although his win has not been officially erased from the race’s record books.
Riis partnered up with Tinkoff Credit Systems ahead of the 2013 season, and the following year sold the team, which he has run since his retirement in 1999, to Tinkov. – Agence France-Presse