German ProTour squad T-Mobile won't lose its telecommunications company backing, despite another of the squad's riders testing non-negative. On Tuesday the team announced that Lorenzo Bernucci had tested non-negative for an appetite-suppressant during the Deutschland Tour, and was consequently released by the team.
The dismissal of another rider for breaking the team's tough anti-doping policy hasn't deterred T-Mobile enough for parent company Deutsche Telekom to use its right to terminate the sponsorship arrangement, according to Vice President for Sponsoring Communications Christian Frommert.
"You can see how fragile the engagement is," noted Frommert. "You have no total control over the riders. We support the hard and clear line of the team-management. Four weeks ago we were talking about responsibility and we think part of that responsibility is to differentiate the various cases, as we do now."
After a tough year of doping confessions from past riders, and non-negative tests in its current roster, T-Mobile announced in August it would remain in the sport. The sponsor's renewal did however come with a certain clause: "the right to immediately terminate the commitment in the event of further doping cases."