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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 16:46 UK

Organisers cancel Tour of Germany

2008 winner Linus Gerdemann
2008 winner Linus Gerdemann

Next year's Tour of Germany has been cancelled following the latest spate of cyclists testing positive for drugs.

Marketing chiefs said they were unable to finance the nine-day race due to a lack of interested sponsors.

The news comes a day after Austria's Bernhard Kohl admitted to taking Cera, a version of blood booster EPO, during this year's Tour de France.

Germany's Stefan Schumacher, plus Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Ricco, have also failed Cera tests.

"Due to the current developments in professional cycling we are no longer in a position to successfully finance and market the event," said a statement from Tour of Germany organisers.

Cycling in Germany has lost a lot of credibility with the spate of doping cases in the last two years, many involving German riders.

And the two main national broadcasters in Germany have now decided to give up live coverage of the Tour de France next year.

"The sporting value of the Tour de France has dropped considerably due to the many doping cases," said Fritz Raff, chairman of public broadcaster ARD.

"The value of the broadcast has similarly decreased."

ARD and fellow public network ZDF cut short their live coverage of the 2007 Tour de France after German rider Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive before resuming their broadcasts this year.

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see also
Kohl suspension extended to 2014
17 Jun 10 |  Cycling
Ricco handed two-year doping ban
02 Oct 08 |  Cycling
Spanish team sack Ricco & Piepoli
18 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Spanish rider Nevado fails test
16 Jul 08 |  Cycling
IOC to re-examine Beijing samples
09 Oct 08 |  Olympics
Tour rocked by new positive tests
06 Oct 08 |  Cycling

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