Shimano have released an anti-doping statement setting out the actions it will take against teams in any cycling disicpline whose riders fail dope tests. The bottom line is that if the team management is in any way involved in the doping process, that team will lose its sponsorship immediately and all contracts will be terminated and any Shimano equipment or material will have to be returned – immediately.
The statement, published in full below, was sent to all Shimano-sponsored teams yesterday and released to the media today. It's a re-assertion of the terms of Shimano's standard sponsorship contract and goes on to say that in cases where a rider is deemed to have been acting on his or her own without the knowledge of the team, “the team will be given the chance to give a clear explanation and a future improvement & control plan to Shimano, upon that it will be decided to continue the sponsoring or not. If another doping incident occurs within the same team, we will keep the option of terminating our sponsorship contract.”
That's the more likely scenario in cycling at the moment, but Shimano are putting the ball firmly in the team's court to make sure that none of their riders are doping. Where this leaves Shimano-sponsored teams like Euskaltel-Euskadi who are protesting the innocence of Mikel Astarloza even though both his samples tested positive for EPO is unclear, although unofficially sources at Shimano have told road.cc that the Astarloza case is what prompted Shimano to make this very clear statement and we understand that discussion with Euskaltel on this subject are ongoing.
Shimano are sending a clear message to their sponsored teams that in the light of a failed test by one of their riders it will not be business as usual and that the terms of their contracts with the supplier regarding doping can not be regarded as mere window dressing.
With this statement, Shimano would like to make clear to all parties involved that we would like to strive for a fair and drugs free sport to protect the future of cycling for next generations. Besides the bad impact to the reputation of the sport, we all know Doping and Drugs are damaging and destroying the health and image of especially young people in and outside of the sport. Therefore we are taking a firm stand against doping in general and in the cycling sport in particular.
Basic guidelines in Shimano's anti doping policy:
• All our contracts and sponsorship-relations are made under the condition and in the
believe that there is no doping involved in the particular team or with the individual
• If the team management of one of our sponsored teams (no matter in which
cycling discipline) is involved in any doping affair, we will stop our sponsorship of this
• If an individual rider is involved in any doping affair without the knowledge of the team
management, the team will be given the chance to give a clear explanation and a
future improvement & control plan to Shimano, upon that it will be decided to continue
the sponsoring or not. If another doping incident occurs within the same team, we will
keep the option of terminating our sponsorship contract
• Terminating a sponsorship contract means return of all Shimano materials or other
contributions that have been supplied to the concerned team immediately.
This anti doping policy is already stated in our ongoing sponsorship contracts but
Shimano feels it is valuable to emphasize this ones more to make it clear for
everybody what is our opinion about the use of doping in sport. For all our future
sponsorship negotiations it is essential for us that the teams show us their anti doping
policy in advance.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.