German television stops Tour coverage
BERLIN, July 18, 2007 (AFP) - German television stations ARD and ZDF on Wednesday announced they were stopping their coverage of the Tour de France following T-Mobile rider Patrik Sinkewitz' positive drugs test.
Sinkewitz produced an abnormally high level of testosterone at an out of competition control last month.
The 26-year-old who pulled out of the Tour injured on Sunday has been suspended from his team and faces the sack if the B sample confirms the findings of the first test.
In a joint statement ARD and ZDF said they would not be resuming their coverage of the Tour “until clarification of the Patrik Sinkewitz case”.
“We can’t screen an event involving some teams and riders under suspicion of doping,” explained ZDF chief producer Nikolaus Brender.
“We want to show by this gesture that we’re ready to support cycling only if it’s clean, that’s to say without banned doping sustances.
“It’s a warning to cycling and to every other sport,” he added in an interview on ZDF’s midday news.
Sinkewitz produced a positive A sample from a test taken on June 8, the German Cycling Federation who have threatened to ban him from all teams should the B sample come back positive, announced.
The rider, recovering in hospital from injuries he sustained in a crash on the Tour, has reacted with bewilderment over the test findings.
Subject: French news, German news