Controversial climber Michele Scarponi, whose links with banned doctor Michele Ferrari left him with a three-month ban at the end of 2012, will leave Lampre-Merida at the close of the season after both parties successfully negotiated changes to the Italian's current contract.
The athlete voluntarily endorsed the motion to resign from his position if further allegations .... arise contrasting the contract and the internal ethic code of the team.
Scarponi served a three-month ban over the off-season after admitting the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) that he had been trained by Ferrari up to and including the 2011 season, the year in which he won the Giro d'Italia.
The revelations came as Lampre was bringing on a new co-sponsor, bike manufacturer Merida, which has reportedly been unhappy with the Italian's continued association with the team.
Scarponi has not raced with Lampre-Merida since returning from his suspension on December 31, and has been absent in official team photography and promotion. A team spokesman confirmed after the Trofeo Mallorca that he remained suspended from racing until both parties worked out a disagreement relating to the Italian's contract.
Lampre-Merida manager Giuseppe Saronni met with Scarponi and his representatives over the last few days hoping to come to a agreement over whether the Italian would stay with the team at all, or till the end of the season when his contract expires.
After protracted negotiations, a private agreement by both parties will mean that Scarponi's contract will indeed see out his contract till the end of the year, and he'll immediately return to racing, starting with the Gran Premio Città di Lugano, February 24.
But Scarponi has also signed a new agreement with the team that will allow for an immediate cancellation of the Italian's contract should any further negative allegations come out about his past.
The ongoing Padua investigation in northern Italy investigating banned doctor Michele Ferrari is expected to come to a close shortly and Scarponi could yet face another round of allegations from the findings of the much anticipated report.
Scarponi previously served an 18-month suspension after the Operacion Puerto investigation revealed that he had blood doped under the supervision of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes while at Liberty Seguros-Wurth.