GERMAN PARLIAMENT TO DECIDE ON FUNDING

The German Parliament (the Bundestag) discussed on Wednesday the possibility of cutting funding to the German Cycling Federation (BDR).

In light of Germany?s Stefan Schumacher’s positive test for CERA, the Parliament has accused the Federation of having an indifferent attitude towards the anti-doping fight.

Stefan Schumacher, meanwhile, is claiming that Quickstep?s refusal to recognise its contract with the German rider for next season is unlawful. Team manager Patrick Lefevere has refused to honour Schumacher?s contract after his positive test at the Tour de France this year. However, Schumacher?s lawyers have claimed that the re-testing of his sample after the Tour contravened the French Anti-Doping Agency?s procedure of only re-testing samples for research purposes or to investigate further a positive test, neither of which apply to the German?s case. Note however, that Schumacher?s lawyers are not denying the fact that he tested positive for CERA.

The German Gerolsteiner team will close down at the end of the season after failing to re-secure a title sponsor; German broadcasters have withdrawn their coverage of the Tour de France and the Tour of Germany has now been cancelled in light of the recurrent doping scandals to afflict German cycling.

German cycling in crisis.

TIME RUNNING OUT FOR GIANETTI

Time is running out for Mauro Gianetti and Josean Matxin in their pursuit to find a sponsor for their team: one day, to be precise.

By tomorrow, they will have to place their deposit with the UCI to ensure their status as a ProTour team. Gianetti and Matxin led what was the Saunier Duval team, but after doping scandals at the Tour de France, the title sponsor quickly withdrew.

The team is rumoured to be linked to the telephonic company, Telmex, which is one of the world?s wealthiest companies.

ANOTHER CIPOLLINI COMEBACK

Mario Cipollini will make another comeback, this time not as a rider but as a PR officer and technical consultant for young riders at the new Italo-Ukranian team, ISD Danieli.

With riders like Dario Cioni, Giovanni Visconti and Dimitry Grabovskyy the team is aiming to get invited to some of the sport?s top races, including presumably the Giro d?Italia.

H20 AND ROCK TO GIRO

The Luxembourg-affiliated team, H20, has allegedly been awarded an invited to the 2009 Giro d?Italia.

The new Pro Continental team will be led by Belgian climber Wim Van Huffel, who has moved to the team after four rather disappointing seasons spent at Silence-Lotto.

Also rumoured to be in line for a Giro invite is Rock Racing. Despite only having a Continental licence for next season (teams riding in Grand Tours need at least a Pro Continental licence), Oscar Sevilla has claimed that the team?s presence in Italy next May is almost certain.