Cycling: Dutch bank Rabobank end sponsorship of cycling in light of Lance Armstrong scandal

 

Dutch bank Rabobank will end their sponsorship of professional cycling from December 31 following the Lance Armstrong doping revelations.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency last week published an extensive report into allegations against Armstrong, concluding that he engaged in "serial cheating" and his US Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Bert Bruggink, a member of Rabobank's managing board, said: "It is with pain in our heart, but for the bank this is an inevitable decision.

"We are no longer convinced that the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport. We are not confident that this will change for the better in the foreseeable future."

A statement on rabosport.com confirmed that the firm will continue with its sponsorship deals in amateur cycling but will sever ties with both their men's and women's professional teams.

The Rabobank team have accrued 23 Tour de France stage wins since their sponsorship began in 1996, most recently by Luis Leon Sanchez in Saint-Flour in 2011.

They looked set for overall victory in 2007 when Michael Rasmussen won nine stages, but the Dane was then withdrawn from the race and sacked by the team after lying about his whereabouts when he missed drug tests in the build-up to the tour. Rasmussen served a two-year ban, returning in July 2009.

 

 

Denis Menchov won two Vuelta a Espana titles for the team, in 2005 and 2007, as well as the 2009 Giro d'Italia, while Sanchez won this year's Paris-Nice.

The Spaniard was part of a Tour de France squad this year which largely consisted of homegrown Dutch riders, along with Australian Mark Renshaw and Belgium's Maarten Wynants.

They finished 14th in the team standings with Steven Kruijswijk third in the race for the leading young rider's white jersey, Sanchez eighth in the points standings and Laurens ten Dam 28th in the general classification.

Their current women's team includes Marianne Vos, who won Olympic road race gold for Holland ahead of Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead in London this summer.

Bruggink continued: "Cycling is a beautiful sport, which millions of Dutch people enjoy and a large number of those Dutch people are clients of Rabobank.

"But our decision stands: we are pulling out of professional cycling. It is painful. Not just for Rabobank, but especially for the enthusiasts and the cyclists who are not to blame in this."

The Rabobank statement added: "Rabobank started its involvement in cycling 17 years ago, full of conviction and with a clear mission.

"Rabobank has expanded the cycling sponsorship during the course of the years to a complete package, from the men's and women's professional teams to the youth team and the cyclo cross."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones