T-Mobile announced it would pull television sponsorship for the Tour de France as part of a "damage limiting" exercise according to the AFP. The decision follows on the heels of recent doping admissions by high profile German cyclists like Erik Zabel and Rolf Aldag, once involved in the former Team Telekom (now T-Mobile).
T-Mobile's name was to appear before each show with the message "The Tour de France is brought to you by T-Mobile." Officials from ARD/ZDF would rather not accept the withdrawal according to Der Spiegel.
ARD and ZDF, already announced they would 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."
T-Mobile has asked the money be transferred to the national anti-doping agency.