Sinkewitz A sample was tested positive for testosterone at an out-of-competition test taken by Germany's National
Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on June 8th. The T-Mobile team suspended Sinkewitz with immidiate effect.
“This development is very disappointing,” said T-Mobile team general manager Bob Stapleton. “If
the analysis of the B-sample returns the same result as the A-Sample then Patrik Sinkewitz will be immediately released from
the team and he will be punished severely. Our Team Code of Conduct excludes cheating in any form."
In the event of
a positive B-sample Sinkewitz faces a two-year ban from competition - and as he also signed the UCI ‘s 'Riders Commitment
to a New Cycling' declaration, he would be obliged to repay a year’s salary for a doping violation. Sinkewitz has five
days to ask for the analysis of the B sample. According to German newsagaency DPA the ratio of Sinkewitz testosterone
was 24:1, normal is 4:1.
The 26-year-old Sinkewitz, who dropped out of the Tour on Sunday following a collision with a fan, is currently
in hospital in Hamburg where he is awaiting surgery on an open fracture of the nose. Sinkewitz told DPA: "Me? Why me? I don't
know anything about that. That's impossible."
Bob Stapleton said: "It’s a big shock to us, but we always knew the challenge facing us in the fight
against doping. However, this result also shows the effectiveness of the NADA testing system, as well as emphasizing the importance
of out-of-competition testing.". “It doesn’t change our ethical stance and our commitment to clean and fair sport."
To ensure transparency in T-Mobile's anti-doping programme, a panel of independent experts regularly carry out controls
on riders to test for blood manipulation, while classic doping tests are carried out by agencies like NADA. "The team and
the sponsor fully support NADA's work; we provide financial support to NADA and we strongly back the imposition of heavy sanctions
for doping violations," says Stapleton.
Christian Frommert, director of sponsoring communication
at Deutsche Telekom AG, commented on the future of the company's cycling sponsorship: "After the Tour de France everybody
involved will sit down to discuss the way forward in a calm and serious way."
The sponsor will think about its commitment to the team. Telekom comunications manager Philipp Schindera
told the internet site of German weekly 'Der Spiegel': "We are dissappointed. But we still believe in the fight against doping."
About the sponsoring of the team, Schindera added: "We will review that with the necessary distance and seriosness.
Therefore we will speak with all parties involved after the Tour de France."
Christian Frommert told DPA: "That's a deep hit. We will have to think about our sponsorship now." A little
later Frommert said on German tv station ARD: "We [the T-Mobile company] cannot rule out that we will pull out anymore."
T-Mobile team's press officer Stefan Wagner said: "Until now the sponsor supported us with our way with strict
anti-doping programms. I can't say how they will react now, That's T-Mobile's business."
Germany's public tv stations ARD and ZDF decided to stop covering the Tour de France. The tv stations already
threatened a few months ago that they would stop broadcasting the Tour in case of a new doping affair.