By Susan Westemeyer
The Telekom 1990s doping scandal is making itself known in other sports. Kai Hundertmarck, who rode for Team Telekom from 1996 to 2003, changed to triathlon after leaving cycling. Now he will no longer be participating in the Ironman Germany, a decision reached separately by him and by the organizers.
Hundertmarck had announced that he would not be in the race, to be held July 1 in Frankfurt, as an aftereffect of the Telekom doping confessions. He said that he felt that the race organizer Kurt Denk, was conducting a witch-hunt against him. "He said that he was particularly interested to see whether I would give the required affidavit that I had not doped. That took all the fun out of the race for me," Hundertmarck told the dpa press agency. Denk had required the affidavit from all the professional athletes participating in the race this year. Hundertmarckt signed an affidavit, but said that he felt it was aimed against him as a former Team Telekom rider.
Denk denied this. Hundetrmarck had arbitrarily changed the wording in the affidavit, the organization claimed, and "thereby made the complete remaining text worthless."
"Under these circumstances, we will not give Kai Hundertmarck permission to start in another Ironman race in Germany," said race director Kai Walter.
"It would have been great for me, as a local boy, to present myself in my new sport to my fans here at my house door. But the fun has gone out of it because of the position of the organizer," Hundertmarck said. He now plans to start in the Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt one week later.