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Sinkewitz not alone in blood doping in 2006

Patrik Sinkewitz had previously said that he drove alone on the night of July 1, 2006, after the first stage of the Tour de France, from Strasbourg, France, to the University Clinic in Freiburg, Germany, for an illegal blood transfusion. But it must have been more of a convoy, as "at least" five T-Mobile riders went in that night for blood-doping, according to the Saturday edition of the Stuttgarter Zeitung. The paper claims to have seen documents from the University Clinic which shows that the riders received re-transfusion of their own blood on the evening of the Tour's prologue.

Deutsche Telekom spokesman Christian Frommert told the newspaper that he was not surprised by the claim, and that he had always known that Sinkewitz couldn't have been the only one on the team practicing blood doping. German anti-doping crusader Werner Franke said, "Everyone can look and see who was strong in the individual time trial", which was held one week later. T-Mobile placed six riders in the top 16, with Serguei Gonchar winning the time trial.

Of the seven riders who started the Tour for T-Mobile in 2006, only Michael Rogers (Team High Road) and Andreas Klöden (Team Astana) are still riding in the ProTour. Giuseppe Guerini ended his career this season. Serguei Gonchar was released by Team T-Mobile during the season and is said to have signed for the Continental Team Preti Mangimi (formerly Kio-Ene-Tomazzo-DMT) for the coming season. Eddy Mazzoleni resigned from Team Astana after being named in the "Oil for Drugs" scandal, and Matthias Kessler (Astana) and Sinkewitz were both fired after testing positive for testosterone this season.

Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla were suspended from the team the day before the Tour was to start, after being named in the Operación Puerto doping scandal.

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