Team Quick Step has said that it was "shocked" at the German television show Frontal 21 which aired Tuesday evening and contained Patrik Sinkewitz's claims of organised doping at the team from 2003 to 2005. The Belgian ProTour team said that it would commence legal action over the matter.
In a press announcement issued Wednesday afternoon, the team further noted that it "absolutely contests the false and defamatory content that was aired."
Frontal 21 is a magazine programme broadcast by German station ZDF.
Team manager Patrick Lefevere questioned the timing of the programme. "It’s obvious that the false statements regarding the team … were suspiciously used only a few hours before the start of the one of the most important cycling events, the Tour de France, and only a few days before an important point in proceedings in the slander case between the ex-world champion and former Quick Step rider Paolo Bettini and the ZDF for the well noted events at Stuttgart 2007."
Bettini is suing the ZDF over a report that he provided Sinkewitz with doping products. That report aired shortly before Bettini won his second World title.
The team statement said that Quick Step was "shocked that a television network that claims to present fair and balanced information could broadcast such outrageously false statements in such unserious manner." (SW)