Team High Road, the new name for the T-Mobile team after the German telecoms company ended their sponsorship, has announced the team will have a strict internal anti-doping programme in 2008, run in accordance with US company Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE), which also does testing for Team Slipstream.
According to a press release by the team, each rider will face a minimum of 26 random blood and urine tests a year so that haematological and steroidal profiles can be established. Results will be sent to the UCI and WADA and the tests save been endorsed by the UCI?s anti- doping tsar Anne Gripper.
DOPING ACCUSATIONS CONTINUE
T-Mobile have now ended all their links with the team, with Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish showing the magenta jersey for probably the last time at the recent track World Cup. However the ghosts of the team?s past continue to haunt cycling following more accusations in the German press.
Over the weekend Focus magazine in Germany claimed that Jan Ullrich made numerous trips to Madrid between 2003 and 2006, apparently to see Dr Fuentes.
On Sunday the German Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper claimed that five riders from T-Mobile blood doped during the 2006 Tour de France. Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla were sent home before the start of the Tour in Strasbourg but the newspaper claims to have seen documents from the Freiburg University showing that five other riders underwent blood transfusion.
In the first individual time trial in the 2006 Tour de France in Rennes, six T-Mobile riders finished in the top 16 on the stage. Serguei Gontchar won the time trial and pulled on the yellow jersey, Michael Rogers was fourth, Patrick Sinkewitz was sixth, Andreas Kloden was eighth, Matthias Kessler was 14th and Eddy Mazzoleni was 16th. Giuseppe Guerini was the only other T-Mobile in the Tour and finished 34th in the time trial.
Since the 2006 Tour de France Gontchar has been sacked by T-Mobile for irregular blood values, Mazzoleni has retired after being investigated for doping by Italian police, Sinkewitz tested positive in June and Kessler failed a test in the spring. Guerini has now retired while Kloden rode for Astana in 2007 and has agreed to stay with the team in 2008.
Rogers is the only rider who stayed with T-Mobile for 2007 following the arrival of new team management. He admitted working with Dr Ferrari but was ordered to end the relationship by the T-Mobile team.
In early November the UCI issued a statement saying that Rogers had not been implicated by Sinkewitz in his confession to the Germany Cycling Federation and Rogers said he was ?an advocate for doing things the right way and I think truth will prevail.?