|Mapei pulls sponsorship||DougSloan|
Jun 27, 2002 5:26 AM
|Cycling-Mapei pull out of cycling after doping scandals
By Stephen Farrand
ROME (Reuters) - The Italian Mapei company has decided to end its sponsorship of the world's biggest professional cycling team as a consequence of the recent Giro d'Italia doping scandals.
"It's true Mapei owner Mr Giorgio Squinzi has made a decision after discussing things with us, and he's decided to stop sponsoring the team," Mapei team manager Aldo Sassi told Reuters.
"The current situation in cycling, especially after what happened at the Giro d'Italia has made Mapei decide to stop after ten years of sponsorship.
"It's not just a question of money but also about the image cycling currently gives to the company."
During the Giro d'Italia Stefano Garzelli, who was the Mapei team captain for the race, failed a drugs test for the banned substance Probenecid.
Three riders from other teams also failed tests and another four riders were arrested on suspicion of selling drugs.
For the last few years cycling has been plagued by doping problems. Squinzi constantly tried to clean up the sport but has now decided to stop his sponsorship.
Mapei spent approximately five million pounds a year on cycling.
According to Mapei team press officer Alessandro Tegner, the 40 riders in the team were told the news on Tuesday.
"There aren't any particular details at the moment and Mapei may stay involved in cycling in some way but they will not be involved with a professional team," he said.
"A full explanation will be given in the next few days."
Leading Italian rider Paolo Bettini described the decision as a terrible blow for cycling.
"It's bad news for the riders but it's a terrible blow for cycling when a company like Mapei decide to quit," he told Reuters.
"It means that cycling is really in a bad way."
Mapei have been involved in cycling for ten years, winning almost every major race except the Tour de France.
Leading riders in the team include current world champion Oscar Freire of Spain, Cadel Evans of Australia and Italians Andrea Tafi and Daniele Nardello
Wow, this looks serious. Anyone have more details?
|Sounds like a good place for Team Krispy Kreme to get started!nm||jaybird|
Jun 27, 2002 9:29 AM
|re: Mapei pulls sponsorship||peter1|
Jun 27, 2002 10:35 AM
|...and so did Big Mat. Is this surprising? Maybe this will finally shake up the powers that be and especially the riders.
Every time cycling hits the major news media, it's inevitably followed by the words "doping scandal." It's no longer a good use of your advertising budget. Probably the only reason Postal hasn't pulled the plug is that no one here follows bicycle racing anyway.