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Astana riders wear faded sponsor jerseys in protest of not getting paid

Posted May 15 2009 10:02pm

Astana If you take a look at this photo of Levi Leipheimer posted by the Astana rider today on his Twitter photo page you may find it hard to see his team' s main sponsor---Astana.

That' s because the team today is wearing jersey' s with the Astana logo faded to the point of non-recognition in protest of not getting paid.

The only rider on the team wearing the regular jersey and not joining the protest is Andrey Zeits, who is from Astana' s base nation Kazakhstan.

As you may recall from THIS story, some team members were not paid salaries last month and the International Cycling Union (UCI) has said Astana’s Pro-Tour license could be withdrawn if the problem continues, according to the Reuters.

Johan Bruyneel recently posted this statement on his blog:

"Since the beginning of the year, our team has had to deal with delays in payment from Kazakhstan. Up till now the situation is that the Kazakh Cycling Federation (KCF) has only paid two months of salary to the management company that runs the team. The only explanation we get from Kazakhstan is that the sponsors aren’t paying because of the economic crisis. They say they are trying to find a solution, but for me it is unclear which action they will take. "

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