Rohan Dennis' win in the time trial at the world championships came after a prolonged 10-week period away from racing, unusual for a rider participating in the world championships.
Dennis surfaced once during a reconnaissance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics course with the Australian squad but hasn't raced for Bahrain-Merida since his mysterious departure from the Tour de France.
The statement followed the final day of competition at the world championships, with the team saying in a statement that they hadn't wanted to distract Dennis and allow 'an undisturbed preparation for the UCI 2019 Road World Championships'.
The team revealed that it terminated its contract with Dennis on 13th September 2019, two weeks ahead of Dennis' time-trial ride.
Dennis rode a non-team issue bike during the time trial, a blacked-out BMC model, after rumours of friction between the star rider and the team about the Dennis' time-trial specific equipment and clothing.
While not against regulations set down by the UCI, it signified a split between the team and the rider, underlined by the lack of congratulations from the team on social media following Dennis' TT victory.
Dennis had been contracted to the end of 2020, with the termination already referred to the UCI Arbitral Board, an official UCI tribunal that deals in matters of contract disputes between teams and riders.
"Mr Dennis has referred the termination to the UCI Arbitral Board," said Bahrain-Merida in their statement.
"Against this background, no further comment will be made at this time.
The UCI Arbitral Board rules on any dispute between licence-holders, persons and entities who are subject to the provisions of the UCI Constitution and Regulations if the dispute concerns the application or interpretation thereof. It also rules on any other form of contractual dispute.
No statement or comment has been made by Dennis at this stage.