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June 12, 2007

T-Mobile pulls Tour advertising in Germany

France24 | T-Mobile withdraw Tour TV sponsorship

T-Mobile has withdrawn its sponsorship of the Tour de France TV coverage in Germany.

The company is apparently trying to distance itself from admissions by former riders for its team (then called Telekom) that team members, including 1996 Tour winner Bjarne Riis, used EPO and other banned performance enhancers while racing for the squad.

T-Mobile has pledged to sponsor its team through 2010, the end of its current contract.

In case anyone misses the symbolism, the company has asked that the money be used to strengthen the German anti-doping agency instead.

Former T-Mobile star Jan Ullrich, who won the Tour in 1997, has never admitted to doping, but retired this year after being linked to Operación Puerto. He was turned down for an audience with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today, where he apparently hoped “ ‘rehabilitate’ the reputation of Ullrich and recall his merits and performances.”

Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2007 in Doping, Jan Ullrich, Television, Tour de France 2007 | Permalink

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