Team sponsor Barloworld to quit after doping disaster

Barloworld will end their cycling team sponsorship after the Tour de France following the positive dope test of one of their riders on the three-week race, the brand management company said on Saturday.

“Barloworld today [Saturday] announced that after serious consideration and in accordance with their policy towards doping that they will be withdrawing their cycling sponsorship following the Tour de France 2008,” Barloworld said in a statement.

The contract was due to expire in 2009. Barloworld said they would honour contractual obligations and that discussions were under way with replacement sponsors.

Spaniard Moises Duenas Nevado tested positive for the blood-booster EPO after the fourth stage, a time trial in Cholet last week.

He was fired from the team, who are down to four men after the retirements of Baden Cooke, Felix Cardenas, Paolo Longo Borghini and Mauricio Soler.

Chris Fisher, head of corporate marketing at Barloworld, said: “Team Barloworld has a zero-tolerance policy towards doping, which has been constantly communicated to the riders—we have to act on this policy and as such we will all have to live with the long-term consequences of one individual’s action.

“This incident has a negative impact on Barloworld and our brand principles, which our board has a duty to protect.”

The Tour has been hit by drugs scandals this year with Spaniard Manuel Beltran and Italian Riccardo Ricco also testing positive for EPO.—Reuters

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