T-Mobile Team has put itself at the forefront of the anti-doping battle, and its most prominent victim this season has been veteran Serguei Gonchar. The Urkainian rider, who last year helped save the Tour de France for the team when he won both time trials and wore the leader's jersey for three days, was ordered in May to take a 30-day racing break following irregularities in his blood tests. Now, team manager Bob Stapleton says that the 36-year-old's days with the team are numbered.
Gonchar had been scheduled to ride the Giro d'Italia but his name was withdrawn at the last minute. The team emphasized that the blood test results were all within UCI limits and that no doping violation had taken place.
"The blood tests and blood volume test gave us a definite picture four weeks ago that something wasn't right," Stapleton told the sid news agency. "We will now look at his actual test results and decide whether he will ride for us again or not. He hadn't been planned for the Tour de France anyway, and I assume that this will be his last year with us."