The German magenta squad, T-Mobile, has announced that it will not be managed by the Olaf Ludwig Cycling (OLC) company anymore. The sports communication representatives of the German mobile telephony giant have decided, "following a series of intensive discussions before and after the Tour de France", to end the contract binding the cycling team to the management company headed by former pro racer Olaf Ludwig on October 31 this year. In the meantime, Bob Stapleton will take over as new team manager. The 48 year-old American will work together with Olaf Ludwig to ensure the transition period.
"The determining factor was a lack of confidence in the team management, as well as many radically differing ideas on the future strategy and direction of the T-Mobile Team and the handling of the current doping problem," explained Christian Frommert, director of sports communication at T-Mobile International. "The full details of the announced new setup will be communicated by the end of August at the latest."
It is believed unlikely that Mario Kummer will then still be included in the team's staff. But one new sports director is already nominated: former T-Mobile pro Rolf Aldag.
"Rolf will oversee the team in his role as sporting director and will take responsibility for the athletes," said future team manager Stapleton, a 48 year-old American entrepreneur who was the founder and director of the mobile communications firm Voicestream Wireless, which is now T-Mobile USA. Stapleton is also the owner of High Road Sports Inc., the company that runs the T-Mobile women’s team. The new subsidiary of High Road, 'Neuer Straßen Sport GmbH' will be based in Cologne, and will in future operate the men’s team on behalf of T-Mobile International.
"After 15 years of involvement in cycling, we have a high level of responsibility towards the sport", said T-Mobile CEO René Obermann. "For this reason the company has decided to proceed with its planned cycling engagement. T-Mobile believes that sport should be kept clean, and will actively play a role in helping restore cycling’s credibility. The goal, alongside sporting success, is to make an efficient and lasting contribution to resolving cycling’s current difficulties."
Added Christian Frommert: "With the restructuring of the team we will see to it that this challenge is met both on an internal, as well as external basis."