According to Cyclingnews, the Qhubeka NextHash team has not yet paid salaries to its riders and staff for the month of August, with team management reportedly notifying employees of a delay on Monday in an email.
“We have experienced an unexpected delay with partner payments and are currently awaiting the arrival of sponsorship money to reflect in our Dutch bank account to pay August salaries,” read the email, Cyclingnews reports.
“As soon as the sponsorship money reflects; payments will be made.”
The news comes two months after the former Qhubeka Assos team announced that NextHash, a parent company for several entities that utilize blockchain technology, would take over as a new co-sponsor in place of Swiss kit brand Assos in a five-year deal. At the time of the sponsor announcement, reporting from CyclingTips revealed numerous financial irregularities behind NextHash, a string of failed businesses linked to company CEO Ana Bencic, an extremely limited online presence, and apparent shell companies based in numerous markets.
The sponsor change came into effect at the end of June just before the Tour de France, and the squad has raced as Qhubeka NextHash ever since. Assos remained on as a kit sponsor.
While it is not certain which of the squad’s sponsors is responsible for the payment “delay” in question, according to Cyclingnews, Assos has said that it “can confirm we have fulfilled our commitments to the program and much more and hope that the team can continue to 2022 and beyond.”