The two national German television senders, ARD and ZDF, are inclined not to prolong their contracts to televise the Tour de France, it was announced Wednesday. They will continue to show the Tour and the Deutschland Tour this year and next year, as required, but "will not renew their option for the 2009 Tour at this time."
"We will not review the option to extend the contract before we can be sure that doping has no chance at the Tour de France," Nickolaus Brender of the ZDG told the dpa press agency. He also said that he has scheduled meetings with the German cycling federation and the German cycling reams to discuss the issues.
During this year's telecasts, "doping will play a central role in the journalistic aspect," he said.
In addition, the ARD will no longer use former pro cyclists as co-commentators in the live reports. ARD's Fritz Raff told radsport-news.de that this was "a basic decision and not a vote of no confidence against the experts." Most recently, Marcel Wüst has served as the station's cycling expert.