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4 U.S. cyclists opt out of Olympic consideration

By Dave Skretta

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, June 16 2012 11:04 p.m. MDT

Four top U.S. cyclists — all former teammates of Lance Armstrong — removed their names from consideration for spots on the Olympic team before its announcement this week.

Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie asked that they be taken out of the running for places on the road cycling team for the Summer Games, USA Cycling announced in a brief statement Saturday.

"USA Cycling will not speculate on the reasoning behind their requests and will not have further comment," the statement said. "Any questions related to their decision should be directed to the individual athletes."

The national governing body for cycling announced Friday the five riders who will compete in London: Taylor Phinney, Tejay van Garderen, Chris Horner, Timmy Duggan and Tyler Farrar.

Leipheimer is currently third overall at the Tour of Switzerland, which concludes Sunday, and was not available for comment. Hincapie is preparing for the Tour de France and was unavailable, while an official for Garmin-Barracuda — Vande Velde and Zabriskie's professional team — did not respond to a request for comment.

All four riders spent time on the U.S. Postal team with Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France champion who is facing fresh doping allegations by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA has also accused Armstrong's former team manager, Johan Bruyneel, and other associates of being involved in a longstanding doping conspiracy that supplied the champion cyclist's teams.

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