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Cofidis to stop sponsorship?

Pro cycling's long history of doping problems is claiming another victim. Cofidis, the French credit company, has announced that it will probably not prolong its contract with the cycling team when it expires the end of 2008. According to L'Equipe, it has authorized team manager Eric Boyer to start looking for a new sponsor.

The former rider has already contacted a number of large companies who might be potential sponsors, presenting them with plans featuring a hard line against doping. Boyer took over the team in 2005 after it had been rocked by a series of doping problems, crowned by David Millar's EPO confession.

Cofidis has sponsored the team since 1996. François Migraine, company CEO, indicated that in addition to the doping problems, the ProTour costs of three million euros a year were a problem.

It would be the third sponsor this season to withdraw from the sport. Discovery Channel announced in February that it would no longer sponsor its ProTour team and the German company Wiesenhof also will stop its support of the continental Wiesenhof-Felt team at the end of the year due to the "the current conditions and developments in professional cycling."

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