T-Mobile Cycling Team Leads the Anti-Doping Peloton
T-Mobile deserves much praise and recognition for leading the professional cycling pack in the battle against doping.
After witnessing the sport of professinal cycling endure multiple drug scandals through 2006, the telecommunications behemoth seriously considered redirecting its sponsorship dollars toward other sports (e.g., soccer, Formula 1, etc.). Let's face it, a skinny cyclist with a testosterone patch on his scrotum and blood transfusion track marks isn't quite the poster child for corporate marketability.
To their credit, instead of "disconnecting" themselves from the sport and its many honest athletes, T-Mobile decided to become part of the solution. American, Bob Stapleton, was brought over from the T-Mobile women's team to lead the effort as Team Director and implement the harshest, most thorough anti-doping program in cycling.
In addition to more internal testing and controls, the team is providing more opportunities for cyclists to improve their performance within the rules. A nutritionist, sports psychologist, and personal trainers, have all been added to the roster for legal performance enhancement.
Here are a few highlights of T-Mobile's groundbreaking Anti-Doping Program:
1) Internal random and regular health checks, including a new blood-volume test that helps detect blood doping
2) DNA testing
3) Physiological profiles
4) Appointment of an independent 8-doctor and traineroversight board to review test results and performance throughout the year
5) Required approval of outside coaches
Remember, all of the aforementioned testing and controls are in addition to the UCI testing and recommendations.
Big name riders like Jan Ullrich, Andreas Kloden, and Alexander Vinokourov, are no longer on the team, so T-Mobile's race wins may be few and far between. However, we believe that T-Mobile has already achieved the biggest victory of the year.