Lotto and Belisol companies reiterate support for cycling and pushing for a clean sport
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Lotto and Belisol companies reiterate support for cycling and pushing for a clean sport

by Shane Stokes at 4:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
“Sponsors who believe in the future should not look back on yesterday"

Andre GreipelReacting to today’s news that the Rabobank company is withdrawing its title sponsorship from the eponymous cycling team due to the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service case, two backers of one of Belgium’s biggest teams have said that they are determined to remain within the sport.

The Belgian National Lottery Lotto and Belisol, which together provide the sponsorship funding for the WorldTour squad of the same name, said that they had no intentions of walking away from cycling.

Commenting on Rabobank’s decision, the National Lottery said that it understood the decision, but that it “opts for a different approach, in particular the move towards a pure cycling. The large number of cycling fans are entitled to a sport where everyone competes on an equal footing and therefore has an equal chances of success.”

It said that it has demanded the ‘highest ethical standards’ and has a zero tolerance policy in place for all of its cycling teams, from WorldTour level down to grassroots. It added that it believes its return from the sport is four times what it puts into cycling, making its backing justifiable.

“Cycling is one of the most popular sports in Belgium and the National Lottery will help determine its future continues,” it said. “Young starters, talents and the champions of tomorrow are entitled to a fair chance to develop their talent in an ethical environment.

“Sponsors who believe in the future of cycling should not continue to look back on yesterday but today, with the experience of the past, to look to tomorrow and help build the future of cycling.”

Belisol company director Nicolas Thiel had a shorter message, but made his thoughts clear via Twitter. “We honestly believe in a clean sport. Don't let the #armstrong case waste the future of a whole generation. #Belisol stays in cycling,” he said.

The team features a number of big names including the German rider, who earlier this week issued an open letter blasting doping and expressing his frustration at the Armstrong/US Postal Service doping system.

“I find it appalling, especially the extent to which we were systematically deceived, and how it happened,” he said. “That's why I am of the opinion that the fight against fraud and ill-gotten success must continue!”

It seems that his sponsors have the same stance as he does, giving the team some security at this point in time.

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