By Nigel Wynn
T-Mobile's Tour de France troubles just got worse with the news released this morning from the German Cycling Federation (BDR) that Patrik Sinkewitz failed a German Anti-Doping Agency out-of-competition drug test on June 8. The test showed the rider had abnormal levels of testosterone.
The news comes after Sinkewitz was forced to retire from the Tour on Sunday when he struck a spectator as he was making his way back down from Tignes to get to the team hotel. Sinkewitz sustained serious injuries and is currently in a hospital in Hamburg, whilst the spectator is still in intensive care in France.
BDR has contacted Sinkewitz to see whether the rider requests a test of the B sample. He has five days in which to issue a response.
As soon as German TV networks ARD and ZDF - who hold the German broadcast rights for the Tour - heard the news about Sinkewitz, they immediately stopped broadcasting the event in protest. Both channels had stated before the Tour that they would review broadcasting the event in the light of any further doping scandals.
This is sad news for T-Mobile, who have publicly restructured the squad to create a team proud to show that it will not tolerate doping of any kind. No statement has been released by the team so far, but it is likely the team will show zero tolerance and suspend him immediately pending further investigation.
T-Mobile's Tour squad is now down to six members after Sinkewitz's crash. British sprinter Mark Cavendish retired as planned on Sunday and team leader Michael Rogers, who crashed during the race on Sunday and was forced to quit.
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