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Dope Scandals Impact Cycling Sponsors

Marketers that put up big bucks to sponsor cyclists in major races are having second thoughts. Their hesitation follows a string of doping scandals that have plagued the international sport. The most recent incident involved Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, whose test results after the race revealed abnormally high testosterone levels. The list of sponsors that support riders and teams is a long one and includes T-Mobile, Computer Sciences Corp., Liberty Mutual Group, and Phonak AG, a Swiss hearing-aid maker that sponsored Landis and his team. Some companies have cut their losses and left cycling. Others are trying to get involved in projects designed to rehabilitate the sport. The cycling scandals come in the midst of an avalanche of cheating in other sports, including the Olympics, Italy's top soccer league, and international cricket and tennis. In many cases, these scandals have taken their financial toll by scaring away sponsors or lowering the value of TV rights.



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