September 4, 2007 — The Gerolsteiner mineral water bottling company announced today that it is withdrawing its sponsorship of its ProTour cycling team at the end of the 2008 cycling season reports AFP. The company has supported a professional cycling team since 1998.
Recent doping scandals have little to do with this decision, assured the company’s marketing director, JÃ¶rg Croseck. The decision is based on an “evolution” of Gerolsteiner’s products and a change of strategy in trying to reach its target clientele.
No Gerolsteiner riders have been implicated in recent doping scandals, however two of the coaches, Udo BÃ¶lts and Christian Henn, have admitted to doping when they raced for Telekom (now T-Mobile) in the 1990s.
T-Mobile recently decided to renew its team sponsorship despite doping allegations and confessions of former team members. News broke today that Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile) tested positive for sibutramine – also known as MeridiaÂ® and used to treat obesity – at last month’s Tour of Germany according to another AFP report.
Among notable Gerolsteiner cyclists are Stefan Schumacher, winner of the 2007’Amstel Gold Race, and Italian Davide Rebellin. No Canadians or Americans ride for Gerolsteiner.