(Reuters) - The future of former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis as manager of the Tinkoff-Saxo team plunged into uncertainty on Tuesday, with the team announcing that he was no longer “actively involved” in team activities.
Amid media reports of the possible suspension or sacking of Riis, the team released a statement on Tuesday saying that the 50-year-old Dane has not been involved in the running of the team since Sunday.
Danish newspaper BT had originally reported that Riis had been suspended over recent poor results, leading to a storm of speculation that the 1996 Tour de France winner was to be replaced as team boss.
“Following the rumors and speculations published by many Danish media first and then by international cycling media later last night, Tinkoff Saxo would like to clarify that Bjarne Riis is not being actively involved in the team’s activities since last Sunday,” the statement said.
”However, he was not suspended of his active role because of lack of results nor for financial issues. The team 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.
“No decisions have been taken and any formal and final decision on any team member -- if taken -- shall be communicated at the appropriate time. Until then there will be no further comments on this matter.”
Reporting By Philip O'Connor; editing by Sudipto Ganguly