Adidas cuts cash for Germany’s anti-doping body
Germany’s National AntiDoping Agency (NADA) suffered a blow yesterday with Adidas announcing it will cut 300,000 euros ($326,655) of funding by the end of the year.
“We have already informed the National Anti-Doping Agency that in the spring, we will no longer provide financial support beyond our existing contract, which runs out at the end of 2016,” Adidas’ spokesman Oliver Brueggen told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
“We would like to remain connected to NADA and are therefore currently in talks about alternative forms of co-operation. “Of course, Adidas will continue to maintain a clear stance in the fight against doping. “In all contracts with our athletes, it’s made clear we will terminate the contractual relationship immediately in the event of a proven doping offence.”
But the loss of sportswear giants Adidas-NADA’s only sponsor from Germany’s industry-is clearly a blow for the country’s anti-doping body.
“We are very sorry that we will lose one of our main partners in all probability,” NADA’s managing director Lars Mortsiefer told German daily Bild. Neither Brueggen nor Mortsiefer gave a clear reason why Adidas are withdrawing the funding, which will impact NADA’s work. “It’s a sum which some athletes can earn in a few weeks or months,” said Mortsiefer. “It’s very disappointing, that the number of supporters of our work is dropping. “We used the 300,000 euros from Adidas for our communications and marketing, for example, in our campaign ‘Give everything, take nothing’, a large part of that will be affected.
“However, our prevention work and testing for drugs will not be affected at the moment.”
At a time when the fight against doping is regularly in the headlines, the withdrawn sponsorship of a global brand like Adidas has raised eyebrows here.
“Obviously, sport and business are of the opinion that the financing of NADA is largely a matter for the state,” politician Dagmar Freitag, chairman of the Bundestag’s sports committee, told Bild.
“But when the question arises of NADA’s foundation model, it can now be safely dismissed as a failure.” But Sylvia Schenk, the ex-president of the German Cycling Federation and leader of the sports work group at Transparency International, says recent evidence of mass doping in countries like Russia prove efforts to catch those doping are not foolproof. “Obviously, the business world is not convinced by the concept of anti-doping controls. Events this summer have shown that the testing systems do not work,” said Schenk.
“Now the sports federations themselves and politics are also being asked about this.” — AFP
LONDON: This is a Saturday, Feb 12, 2011 file photo of England’s Chris Ashton as he scores the opening try against Italy during their Six Nations international rugby union match at Twickenham stadium, London. Chris Ashton may have brought an end to his England career after agreeing to move to French giant Toulon from Saracens. Toulon said yesterday that the 29-year-old winger will join the three-time European champions from next season on a three-year deal.— AP