One little drugs story and ARD/ZDF drops coverage of the Tour
As if being hospitalised after crashing into a spectator wasn't enough, Patrick Sinkewitz has been told he's tested non-negative for testosterone. I think that is the same test that Floyd Landis failed, which I'm still unsure about.
In an outrageous move, ARD/ZDF (visible at 19 and 13 east) have stopped live tour coverage "until clarification of the Patrik Sinkewitz case" whatever that means. Will they resume if it the second test is positive too? I doubt it.
If I remember correctly, ARD/ZDF have been threatening to drop the Tour de France for at least a year and maybe more. Finally, they get an excuse to replace proper tour coverage with more cheap, bland daytime TV like Z-list interviews, soaps and cookery shows - or continuous criticism of the Tour de France, like they had today.
In the Expatica report, ZDF chief producer Nikolaus Brender said:
"We can't screen an event involving some teams and riders under suspicion of doping."
(That's strange. Of course they can. They have before and I bet they'll still show motorsport, football, horse-racing, golf, wrestling, and so on if they get them. They just don't want to show cycling.)
"We want to show by this gesture that we're ready to support cycling only if it's clean, that's to say without banned doping sustances."
(That's actually quite a high standard: over 180 participants, none of them cheating. That's a lot harder than 20 drivers or 30 footballers all being clean - even then, they don't always manage it and I don't see ARD/ZDF dropping those sports every time one player is accused of doping. Never mind all the smaller cheating attempts which are easier in many other sports than cycling.)
"It's a warning to cycling and to every other sport,"
It's a warning that ARD/ZDF's TV producers are short-sighted and don't care about the viewers.
At least Eurosport Germany continues with live coverage every day! Let's keep watching and see how the chips fall for Sinkewitz. Are ARD/ZDF fee-payers raising hell about this absurd decision? I hope so.