MAN pulls out as CSC sponsor

Team CSC lost a sponsor this week, but stayed cool in light of statements out of France that its...

Team CSC lost a sponsor this week, but stayed cool in light of statements out of France that its team manager Bjarne Riis might not be welcome at the Tour de France.

"Riis has done a lot for cycling in the last few years. If he isn't allowed to be there, then you have to ask, why is Bernard Hinault, who avoided a doping test, allowed to conduct the winner's ceremonies?," said Directeur Sportif Jorgen Pedersen, who is accompanying his team in the Giro d'Italia, to the dpa. "What about Laurent Fignon, who tested positive twice?"

Meanwhile, the team has lost its sponsor MAN, a manufacturer of trucks, buses, diesel engines and turbo machinery, "due to the current developments in professional cycling."

In a press release issued Friday, the company said, "MAN has been sponsoring professional cycling under the impression that this was an effective marketing tool but in the light of recent developments, the Company has decided no longer to pursue its sponsorship of this sport. Already after the doping scandals last summer, MAN had negotiated to end the contract with Team CSC however the team's anti-doping initiative persuaded the Company to remain a sponsor."

It concluded, "Now MAN has been disappointed again by the revelations about the use of prohibited substances in the 1990s and for this reason no longer considers it appropriate to employ professional cycling as a platform for corporate branding.

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