Multiple sponsors have terminated their contracts with Colin Strickland, after the gravel pro rider admitted his "proximity" to the murder case of Moriah Wilson.
With Strickland's partner, Kaitlin Armstrong, wanted for first-degree murder felony charges, Specialized, Rapha, Enve and The Meteor have all severed ties with the 35-year-old, while Allied Cycle Works stated he won't represent the brand at future races, for the time being.
Strickland, who has not been charged with any offense, issued a statement to the local media revealing he had a brief romantic relationship with Wilson last year when he and Armstrong, his girlfriend of three years, had briefly broken up.
On Saturday 21 May, Specialized became the first sponsor to end its agreement with Strickland. His helmet, shoe, tyre and mountain bike sponsor issued a statement confirming this decision.
It read: “As of Saturday, May 21st, Specialized has terminated the contract agreement with Colin Strickland and he will no longer be a sponsored athlete for the brand."
The gravel rider's clothing sponsor, Rapha, followed suit on Tuesday.
Rapha said: “Like many, we have been following the news around the incredibly tragic death of gravel and mountain bike prodigy and prominent member of the American cycling community, Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson.
"We are deeply saddened by her senseless death and we are sending our condolences to Mo’s family and friends. In light of recent events we have mutually agreed to end our partnership with Colin Strickland with immediate effect.”
Enve Composites also mutually agreed to end its partnership with Strickland on Tuesday, with The Meteor Café, an Austin and Bentonville café and bar targeted at cyclists, doing the same as well.
Meanwhile, Allied Cycle Works told VeloNews Strickland won't represent it at future races, as it continues to monitor developments related to the story. His contract hasn't been officially terminated yet, though. Red Bull also refused to comment on its sponsorship deal with Strickland, stating the case is for the authorities to deal with.
Moriah Wilson's family has launched a GoFundMe page in memory of the 25-year-old. The fund will help young people access sports and activities Wilson was passionate about, such as cycling and skiing. One of Wilson's performance partners, The Feed, also launched a fundraising effort in honour of Wilson's memory, with 100% of the sale of a "Ride Like Mo" water bottle going towards a scholarship fund in Mo's name.
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