By Susan Westemeyer
The lead investigator in Freiburg, Germany, has rejected Werner Franke's most recent claims of doping against the T-Mobile 2006 Tour de France team. "Speculation doesn't help us," public prosecutor Wolfgang Maier told the dpa press agency. "If he has specific proof, we would naturally be interested."
In a taped radio interview broadcast on New Years Day, Franke claimed that the entire T-Mobile Tour de France 2006 team went to the Freiburg University Clinic for illegal blood transfusions. He did not offer any details or proof to support his claims, or reveal his source, saying only that it was "according to my information."
Patrik Sinkewitz had previously claimed to have driven to the Clinic after the first stage of the Tour 2006 for a blood transfusion, and various German media outlets have since suggested that other riders also participated, without citing specific names or providing proof.
The only two riders from that team who are still riding in the ProTour are Andreas Klöden of Team Astana and Michael Rogers of Team High Road. Both have consistently denied having used doping products or practices, and both continue to enjoy the support of their respective teams.