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Sports

Organizers Cancel Tour of Germany After Doping Scandals

Organizers of the Tour of Germany cycling race announced on Thursday they were canceling next year's race due to the latest doping scandals that have thrown the sport into turmoil.

Cyclists in a race

Cycling's reputation has been battered by an endless string of doping scandals

Their decision came after retests resulted in four cyclists, including German rider Stephan Schumacher, Austrian Bernhard Kohl and Italy's Leonardo Piepoli testing positive for CERA, the third generation of the blood booster EPO, at the Tour de France in July.

Kohl admitted Wednesday that he was guilty of doping during this year's Tour de France, where he finished third.

In a statement issued by the organizers on Thursday they said that the Tour of Germany was no longer financially viable as they could

not market it.

"We are very sad that we had to take this decision," Kai Rapp, the chief executive officer of the company organizing the Tour of Germany

said.

The Tour of Germany is the most important multi-stage race in Germany and attracted several high-profile cyclists in the past.

Broadcasters pull the plug

Also on Thursday, German state broadcasters ZDF and ARD announced that they would no longer broadcast any live coverage from the Tour de France.

"The sporting value of the Tour de France has been significantly reduced as a result of the numerous doping cases and the perceptions that have materialized," ARD chairman Fritz Raff said. "Therefore its broadcast value has sunk deeply."

ARD and Germany's other state broadcaster ZDF terminated their broadcasts of the Tour last year after several doping cases.

ARD pulled the plug on broadcasting the 2007 Tour de France during the competition after German rider Patrick Sinkewitz failed a drugs for testosterone. There are now no plans to broadcast the world's premier cycling event to German television viewers.

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