Adidas announced in August that it will continue its sponsoring contract with T-Mobile Team through 2008, but its Chairman, Herbert Hainer, has said that it seems unlikely the firm will stay on with cycling after that. "Right now I can't imagine that," he told faz.net. "First we have to see success in the fight against doping and the clear will of everyone involved to deal with the situation. Then an extension might be possible."
The sporting goods firm is one of the major sponsors of T-Mobile. Hainer said that he decided to honour the contract with the team through next season because "The team management's concept in the fight against doping convinced us and we want to do our part to make cycling a clean sport."
The recent World Championships in Stuttgart did not help. "Stuttgart was hardly a good sign. The way all the different decision-makers there all stumbled around, that hurt cycling. The international and national federations must work together with the politicians to make more decisions showing the right way than they already have. A clear direction is missing."
Hainer does not necessarily think the sponsorship hurts the company's image. "When T-Mobile's concept is effective, then that would be positive for us because then we would have helped to fight doping. If that is not the case, then we will end our engagement. We can leave immediately if there are more doping cases.