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Management duo leave Phonak posts

Tyler Hamilton

BERNE, Switzerland -- Troubled Swiss cycling team Phonak have parted company with their team manager and sporting director after a season blighted by doping incidents.

In a statement, Phonak said that the contracts of team manager Urs Freuler and sporting director Alvaro Pino had been terminated by mutual consent.

John Lelangue, a 34-year-old Belgian who previously worked on the organisation of the Tour de France, has been named as Freuler's replacement.

According to the statement, team owner Andy Rihs has appointed Lelangue to lead the team "into a sustained, secure, successful and ethical future."

Lelangue's most pressing task will be to secure wildcard entries for this year's biggest cycling races, following the decision of the International Cycling Union (UCI) to deny Phonak a ProTour licence.

The UCI's licence commission turned Phonak down after positive tests by three of their former riders, including Olympic time-trial champion Tyler Hamilton.

Hamilton continues to deny any wrongdoing, while Phonak have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an effort to lift the licence ban.

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