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By Susan Westemeyer Patrik Sinkewitz's positive doping test could prove to be the straw that breaks...
By Susan Westemeyer
Patrik Sinkewitz's positive doping test could prove to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, with a Deutsche Telekom AG spokesperson admitting the organisation will consider whether its T-Mobile division's support of the ProTour team "still makes sense". After year's of turmoil surrounding the T-Mobile name, including the exclusion of Jan Ullrich from the 2006 Tour de France after being named in the Operación Puerto scandal, 2007 has been another difficult season for the squad which has pledged to fight doping unconditionally.
"After the Tour we will think about whether a further engagement still makes sense or whether we should drop out immediately," said Christian Frommert, Director of Sports Communications for the parent firm, Deutsche Telekom AG.
In addition to Sinkewitz's positive test, the squad has already released Serhiy Honchar from its ranks this season, with the rider recording irregularities in blood tests earlier in the season, and the T-Mobile name has also been linked with high-profile admissions from former riders including Erik Zabel, Bjarne Riis and the team's current director sportif Rolf Aldag.
Frommert said that T-Mobile has to ask itself whether T-Mobile's much-vaunted anti-doping program is effective "or whether we have failed", according to sid. T-Mobile's current sponsorship contract runs through 2010.
"It's a hysteria at the moment, there are too many speculations," Frommert told Cyclingnews. "We will sit together after the Tour and make a decision. We have a responsibility and we will look at all the facts.
"We won't take any action without analysing the situation," he added. "There are many things we have to think and talk about. That's important for the team and for cycling in general."