The handsome gentleman in the pink spandex to your left is Tour de France and German T-Mobile rider Patrik Sinkewitz.
Patrik, in addition to wearing a pink helmet every day, whether on his bike or not, takes a lot of testosterone.
A cyclist on steroids is nothing new though. Lance, Landis, etc. You’re kidding yourself if you think those guys are clean.
Anyway, what’s interesting is what happened after the positive test: German television, which had been broadcasting the Tour to more than 1 million viewers, dropped its telecast.
That’s right, just dropped it. German stations ARD and ZDF claimed they couldn’t take any more steroid allegations bringing down the sport they loved.
ARD used to be one of sponsors of the team that sponsors Sinkewitz. The two stations were planning a total of around 90 hours of coverage of the race, which ends on July 29.
So, what do you think? The right call or a little overreaction by the stations?
The one thing that makes the German stations look hypocritical is that they warned the riders, Tour, etc. They said they would pull the race off the air if the powers that be didn’t do everything in their power to end the doping.
What’s strange is, they did catch a doper. So why punish the race and it’s fans? You can’t clean up any sport without catching the cheaters.
Race organizers agree.
This decision is paradoxical as it results in a sanction against the Tour de France, which shows its will to fight against doping,” ASO chairman Patrice Clerc told reporters in Marseille where the 10th stage finished on Wednesday. “Even if it is difficult to admit that a rider has tested positive, do we have to complain about the fact that we continue to track down the cheats?…Maybe German TV expects us not to track them down.
Maybe that is what the stations expect. Regardless, it took some cojones to pull the coverage. You think the NFL Network or even ESPN for that matter would ever pull their coverage of an event because of steroids? Not if they would lose a precious advertising dollar.
Either way, a private station snatched up coverage in a few milliseconds (or whatever that equals in metric), so all is well.