It took sponsor Nedbank less than an hour to pull its sponsorship of Team 360LIFE, following another doping scandal in the sport of cycling.
David George, former South African Commonwealth Games Cycling Silver Medalist, has tested positive for the drug erythropoiesis (EPO), in an out-of-competition test conducted by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport.
George has ridden most of his career on the road and was a member of Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team from 1999 to the year 2000.
The team has been accused of running the most organised and professional doping programme in the history of sport, and the findings of the US Anti-Doping Agency have resulted in Armstrong being written out of the sports record books.
George, now a mountain biker, was tested at the end of August.
Team 360Life’s sponsors say they have “a zero tolerance towards the use of banned substances or performance enhancing drugs and do not condone or support such use.”
George’s suspension has far reaching consequences. His team-mates, Kevin Evans and James Reid, were to race in the upcoming MTN Ultra Marathon in Parys this weekend as well as the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek in Oudtshoorn in two weeks time, but now they are out of a job.
Social media suggests George’s positive test is far from unexpected. Fellow cyclist, Robbie Hunter tweeted “a 15-year time bomb just went bang.”