Police Search Leopard-Trek Owner’s Home

Inquiry, not bike related, complicates merger


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Luxembourg police searched the house and office of Leopard-Trek owner Flavio Becca on Thursday, further complicating this month’s controversial merger between Leopard-Trek and RadioShack, two of cycling’s most prominent teams. The focus of the investigation remains unclear, but there is no evidence that authorities are investigating Becca—whose investments range from real estate to professional soccer—for any cycling-related violations. (Reports indicate tax problems or as a possible misappropriation of public property.) The Leopard-Trek merger with RadioShack appeared hastily conceived when it was announced last month, and a series of conflicting press releases suggested that major sponsors had not been consulted before the deal. Even the new team’s name, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, runs afoul of UCI rules. Tour de France podium finishers Frank and Andy Schleck, and time-trial specialist Fabian Cancellara all rode for Leopard-Trek last year. Cancellara intends to stay with the team, but said yesterday that the turmoil has taken a toll on his focus.