German TV broadcasters took a stand against what they saw as a sport defined by cheating

Doping scandals and a mistrust of those involved in cycling directly led to German television broadcasters making a stand in 2012 – they wouldn’t show the Tour de France.

ARD and ZDF’s refusal to screen the Tour since 2012 was symbolic of the credibility loss the sport had endured in the preceding decade. Before 2012, both broadcasters had stopped live transmissions during the 2007 Tour after German rider Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive during the race.

But while doping cases are still making the headlines – Astana, whose Vincenzo Nibali won the 2014 Tour, have had five recently – they no longer dominate the cycling sections of sport pages.

And the emergence of German Marcel Kittel as arguably the world’s fastest sprinter has resulted in a growing clamour for live coverage of the Tour in Germany once more.

ARD chairman Lutz Marmor will make a decision in the coming weeks after the broadcaster admitted that it is of the opinion that the sport has taken substantial steps in eradicating doping.