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Does it effect the sponsors

Jul 16, 2009
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Please forgive if I am covering old ground, or way off the mark.

But just a thought from a different perspective in relation to sponsors and PEDs.

I respect that cycling is better known through Europe. Here in Australia pretty well any cyclist apart from LA or (maybe) Cadel would not be recognised on the street apart from by a small handful of cyclists.

Here's a thought. I'm your average TV fan. I own a bike that I can ride to the park with my kids. It cost $88 from K-Mart. I stay up thorugh the night to watch the TdF in July. Now that SBS is showing the Pris- Roubaix (sp?) I watch that too.

I watch the highlights of the Tour Down Under. I know the sport is "dirty". Heck. I know that Swimming is dirty too. As is weighlifting. And have you seen those runners. LMAO

So cycling. Yeah, I love it. The tour, the scenery, the ITT, the ladies in the dresses. Bernaud on the podium. The chateaus. The colour. Young rider. Polka-Dot, wattages. break-aways. You know, And then you get a stage where the cross wind really blows it open.

And a team TT when a rider slips and Cadels chance is over. And waiting for the descents to see who is going to slip at that corner. There is so much to love about it. But it is also overwhelming for the person on the side looking in.

And then 2 weeks or months or even years later I learn that Landis, Ricci or a Schumacher drugged up, and I can vaguely recollect who they were and what they did

And each year a cyclist comes back who you think you hear Phil Liggett say was banned 4 or so years ago for this or that. Yawn. I heard that last year but can't remember who that was. And you hear of others...but you can't remember was it Mayo or someone who's name sounds like that, and was he actually busted or just on a team that had known links? and Contador, Sastre, Kohl, Leipheimer. I can hardly pronounce these names- how can I remember who got busted for what?

Anyway, most of us think they're all dirty anyway. its a 3 week tour up mountains for goodness sake! what do we expect?

I'm sure cyclists and afficionardos know who was busted in 2004 or 1997. But I can't even remember who Stu O'Grady rode for last year let alone who he rides for now. . I even watched 16 stages in that race and know Cadel came 2nd but I can't even tell you who won last years TdF. It has a C in it I think. Was it Sastre? or Kloden? Or Menchov. Oh no, he was busted wasn't he? Or was it som eguy called Ivan? Oh I give up. And now I read Cadel is going to another team? was he with Saxo this year or last year- or was it Silence- Lotto? I'm overwhelmed. But I can't wait for the next event to be on TV and I hope its a really steep stage because I love them the best as do ALL of my friends.

But you know what? While I can't tell you who is on which team, I can pretty well remember ALL of the sponsors names, and if a rider is busted I feel sorry for them...not that I can remember which team they rode for.

I guess I am asking. If I am representative of enough of their part-time audience, do the sponsors really care if a rider is busted, let alone dirty? Or do they just know that if the guy is getting air-time its all worth it. 3 weeks of watching a word on a guys backside or thigh ingraines itself firmly in ones mind.

(Just a perspetive from a guy who watches cycling in July and at the Olympics as does his brother and sister in 2 other cities with their families and each expressed much the same thinking).

Again, please don't flame me, I'm not trying to be smart or clever here. I'm trying to be constructive in discussion and offering a perspective of a person on the outside looking in
For most sponsors I question whether having a rider test positive would affect the perception of the public. In certain cases I can envision it being bad for business. For example, an association with cheating would be bad for an accounting firm or some other business that requires an aura of trust or honesty. But who really cares if a company that makes flooring has a rider test positive? Probably the old adage about there being no such thing as bad publicity is largely true.

Both Festina's and Phonak's sales reportedly went up in the face of doping scandals.
Jul 25, 2009
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Ozzie2 said:
know Cadel came 2nd but I can't even tell you who won last years TdF. It has a C in it I think. Was it Sastre? or Kloden? Or Menchov. Oh no, he was busted wasn't he? Or was it some guy called Ivan? Oh I give up.

Don't worry, your confusion is perfectly understandable if you have been listening to Phill :)

The question of whether doping really matters is an interesting one, and has been discussed quite a bit. See the threads http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=2523 and http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=2624
Jul 16, 2009
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Mikel Astarloza cheated his way to stage 16 victory in this years Tour de France, but the testers thankfully got him- So all OK? Nope!

Because the weakness of one, individual rider's action, deeply damages investment into all of our sport.
Just like Shumacher’s positive tests was the nail in German investment into cycling: Astarloza positive result has jeopardize the future of one of Spain’s few remaining top professional teams. Stefan's doping cost one entire Pro Tour team their funding, another (the last remaining) slashed their budget and five smaller continental teams out-, An EST 150 jobs gone in the German cycling. 150 families without income because of tag team attack of Jan and Schumacher. This is the REAL cost of doping.

This morning the Spanish sports newspaper AS, reported Astarloza’s suspension could threaten financial backing of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team. What sponsor wants their name associated with scandal and cheats? One positive could be painted over, but Euskaltel were named and shamed only three weeks previous when another of their riders, Iñigo Landaluze tested positive for the third-generation EPO during this year’s Dauphiné Libéré.

Euskaltel-Euskadi is in danger. Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes’ doping ring destroyed two other two Spanish-based (Liberty Seguros and Kelme) in 2006. So you would think the team management would have fired him on the spot and apologised for bringing cycle sport into disrepute. Nope! Team officials are sticking by Astarloza’s declarations of innocence and are waiting for the results of the follow-up B-samples before action is taken. Mikel Astarloza is still on the pay roll. It is this singular action that will remove the funding from cycling. The sport will been seen as a dangerous investment. Cycling slowly killing itself if nothing is done to promote clean sport and get rid of the dopers.
The actual pro-tour team is a management company and riders. Euskaltel-Euskadi are the sponsors who back the management and have nothing to do with the running and decisions within the team. The Euskaltel funded management are unrepentant supporters of doping in cycling. The Euskaltel-Euskadi communication company, who pay the wages, will eventually get fed up with the disparaging headlines and pull out. Mikel Astarloza and Iñigo Landaluze will be to blame.

Floyd Landis back racing at Team Ouch- everyone opens arms. Short memories. Recall Phonak, Andy Rihs the team manager, had signed a three-year contract with iShares to become the team's title sponsor beginning in 2007. When Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone and ruined the TDF, the three year deal , supporting 50 wages for riders and staff:- gone, lost. The team disbanded at the end of the 2006 season team, Landis single handedly dumped nearly $17 million investment from cycling.
May 13, 2009
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Beside team sponsors leaving, how much money did ASO lose in the German market, for instance, once German TV stations decided not to show the race any more. How much less did sponsors chip in when they lost that media market?

Clearly, it has crossed a threshold where it does damage the bottom line. ASO has made a peace agreement with the UCI, because they saw the trend. At present, it's better for both not to have any more doping scandals, which, ironically, translates into more corruption and a dirtier sport.
the truth. said:
The team disbanded at the end of the 2006 season team, Landis single handedly dumped nearly $17 million investment from cycling.

there were a number of problems at phonak, numerous doping positives from their old roster prior to 2006. not defending landis but you cannot blame EVERYTHING on him. they established a very obvious negative pattern, landis was a very big and final straw.

from wikipedia:

The riders accused of the 2004 doping are Tyler Hamilton (appeal dismissed, now banned from competition until September 22, 2006), Santiago Pérez (positive, two-year ban [1]), Oscar Camenzind (positive, ended his career), Fabrizio Guidi (acquitted, active on Phonak) and Sascha Urweider (fired by the team after he tested positive [2] and now awaiting trial).