Doping Crises End T-Mobile End Cycling Sponsorship
|Team T-Mobile will ride on but with a different jersey and sponsors.
T-Mobile has ended its almost 20 year partnership with professional cycling, saying it wanted to “separate our brand from further exposure from doping in sport and cycling specifically.”
The announcement this week came at the end of a season of doping scandals that have rocked the sport.
Three of T-Mobile’s top riders Bjarne Riis, Jan Ullrich, and Erik Zabel have all come under fire for allegations of drug use in the past two years.
T-Mobile chief Hamid Akhavan said “we have worked very hard with the current team management to promote a clean cycling sport but we reached the decision to continue our efforts to rid all sports of doping by applying our resources in other directions.”
Rumors had surfaced earlier in the year that T-Mobile would end its cycling sponsorship but the German telecommunications company said it would continue until the end of its contract in 2010. Tuesday’s announcement said the end was effective immediately.
T-Mobile’s withdrawal also spurred two other companies to end their sponsorship of the team.
Audi and bike maker Giant terminated their relationship with the German team.
"The withdrawal of Deutsche Telekom means we've lost the major partner and the basis of our involvement," Audi spokeswoman Iris Altig said. "We will not continue our involvement next year."
Giant said they were “disappointed with this announcement as it highlights the ongoing challenges that are currently facing professional road cycling. As a result, Giant has ended its sponsorship of the team, and is currently evaluating future partnership opportunities.”
International Cycling Union President Pat MacQuaid weighed in on T-Mobile’s departure saying “what has happened is a pity for cycling, particularly so in Germany.”
The team will be able to compete in the UCI Pro Tour until 2010 when their team manager’s license expires. For the time being, the team will be known as Team High Road. German Olympics Chief Blames Records for Doping
Thomas Bach, chief of the German Olympic Union said that a shift in focus from achieving records is the only way to stop doping in sports.
"We have the technical instruments to fight doping but no change of attitude. Too many people think in the category of records. We must return to the basics of sport, the fair and clean competition should be all that counts.”
Bach, who is also an IOC VP, made the statement in an interview with German press.
“In this respect we would be well advised to change the presentation of sports. The world record doesn't have to be shown in every competition. In swimming the red line marking the world record should not be shown in front of the swimmers," he said. Fahey Media Symposium
WADA President-elect John Fahey will make his first press appearance February 27, 2008 in Lausanne. Fahey will address the media during a symposium in Switzerland. Program details are forthcoming. Fahey takes over as WADA President on January 1, succeeding Richard Pound. Hungary to Withhold Beijing Credentials
The head of Hungarian Athletics could be denied accreditation to the Beijing Olympics if two athletes do not repay their legal debts to the IOC.
Adrien Annus and Robert Fazekas both won gold
|Adrien Annus' outstanding legal fees may prevent the head of Hungarian athletics out of Beijing. (Getty Images)
in Athens but were later disqualified for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. The two owe more than $20,000 to the IOC. The IOC had asked the Hungarian NOC to recover the money who then told the Hungarian Athletics Federation it was their responsibility.
“There's just no way for us to get this money back," Gusztav Rabold, chairman of the Hungarian Athletics Association, said. "We're not in a contractual relationship with the athletes, they're not receiving financial support and they're not on the national squad." Landis Appeals Panel Forms
The panel that will hear Floyd Landis’ appeal of his two year performance ban has been selected. Landis chose Swedish arbitrator Jan Paulsson for the panel, USADA chose lawyer David Rivkin and David Williams, a New Zealand lawyer will chair the panel.
“My hope is that the CAS panel will review my case on the basis of the facts and the science,” said Landis.
Both sides have until January to present their arguments to the panel. A hearing is not expected before March. Lewis Plan to Fight Drugs in Athletics
|Carl Lewis with IAAF President Lamine Diack. Lewis wants to teach young athletes that doping is not an option for high performance. (Getty Images)
of the IAAF Gala on Sunday, multi time world and Olympic champion Carl Lewis outlined his plan to eliminate drugs in athletics.
Lewis’ plan focuses on targeting youth and not giving them the option of doping. His own training facility implements this belief system.
“We are at a crisis point and instead of sitting around, saying, ‘oh my God, I hope no one tests positive’, I'm going out there and saying, ‘none of my people will’. I stand for accountability. If I see something funny going on, I'm going to tell,” Lewis said.
He added “we have to bring the sport back to prominence, not through getting a star - that's not how it is. It is about credibility and it starts with people's perception. People need to understand that most athletes are hard-working and dedicated. The public in many places thinks that everyone is on drugs and that's not the case.” Briefs…
After testing positive for testosterone, Brazilian swimmer Rebecca Gusmao took to the airwaves and said a WADA doctor plotted against her. Her TV confession this week is Gusmao’s fourth different explanation for the positive test during the Pan American Games in Brazil...
Cyclist Andre Kashechkin’s legal appeal against his drug test was thrown out of a Belgian court earlier this week. The court said it had no jurisdiction over the case and said it should have been filed in Switzerland, home to UCI...
After the withdrawal of the entire team from the Tour de France this year, Team Astana has brought on anti doping expert Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard to help restore credibility to the team. Astana has also hired a a new manager. Damsgaard will lead drug testing programs while Johan Bruyneel, the new manager said his standard for the team is “zero tolerance”…
Russian gymnast Tatiana Okulova was banned from competition for a year after testing positive for a diuretic in the spring. Okulova was also stripped of the world cup final title that she won…
Satirical U.S. website The Spoof says that in order to pay off her debts, Marion Jones “will be having an official garage sale where she will be selling several relics of the past years. Jones will be sailing [sic] all medals that she won at the 2000 Olympics and 2001 World Games… While these medals are prized items, the more sought after prizes will be the doping needles and left over shipments of Clear that she will be selling to aspiring track and field athletes”… Compiled by Ed Hula III .
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