While the queue of sponsors leaving cycling continues to grow, banking giant Rabobank has thrown its support behind its embattled Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen. A spokesperson for the Dutch multinational has declared the organisation has "no reason to doubt" Rasmussen, whose Tour success has been shadowed by his axing from the Danish national team after failing to follow anti-doping protocol.
"Of course, we are totally behind him," Rabobank spokesman Raymond Salet told AFP. "There is no reason to doubt him."
Rasmussen's dumping from the national squad will see him miss the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany in September as well as the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The decision by his national federation comes after Rasmussen failed to declare his location to authorities on numerous occasions, a requirement under anti-doping legislation in case a rider was to be visited for random, out-of-competition anti-doping testing
Rabobank's stance has reassured the Dutch ProTour team's management, after T-Mobile sponsor Adidas announced it would be reviewing its half a million Euro sponsorship deal of the German squad following Patrick Sinkewitz' positive out-of-competition test. In addition to Adidas' review, car giant Audi is reviewing its commitments to the sport, according to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, while a spokesperson for Volkswagen - the parent company of Skoda Automotive - has told The Guardian it would not pull its support during the Tour, but will review its four year involvement and decide whether to continue.