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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Discovery disbands without backer
Armstrong leads the Discovery team
Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times with the team
Lance Armstrong's former team Discovery is to disband at the end of the season after failing to find a new sponsor.

Armstrong won a record seven Tours de France with the team, formed as US Postal Service in 1996.

Alberto Contador, who won this year's controversial race, will be one of 27 riders looking for new jobs.

"I had contacts with candidate sponsors but the situation in the sport is so bad that nobody wants to be involved with us," said manager Johan Bruyneel.

Tailwind Sports, which operated the team, has struggled to find new backers after a summer in which the sport has again been battered by doping controversies.

The company was given notice in February that the Discovery Channel would not renew its sponsorship and were seeking a reported $45 million (22.14m) for three years.

606: COMMENT
Martin Gough - BBC Sport

However, Armstrong, who is a part-owner of Tailwind, refused to rule out the team's return in future.

"I do not think you have seen the last of this organisation in the sport," he said.

"But clearly things need to improve on many levels, with a more unified front, before you would see us venture back into cycling."

Bruyneel, who was Armstrong's mentor, said he would retire.

"After Armstrong, I wanted to win yet another Tour just once and that has happened," he said.

"When I came to direct this team in 1999 I never would have imagined that we could achieve this level of success.

"I'm going to miss the staff, riders and the excitement of the races, but not all the in-fighting between the teams."

SEE ALSO
Contador insists he is drug-free
10 Aug 07 |  Cycling
Contador wins tainted 2007 Tour
29 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Yates weary despite Tour triumph
30 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Lance Armstrong profile
24 Jul 05 |  Cycling
Armstrong seals seventh Tour win
24 Jul 05 |  Cycling


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