Sports news: Phonak pulls out as Tour de France sponsor
Swiss hearing aid company Phonak confirmed that it would stop sponsoring its Tour de France cycling team.
The decision to end its association with cycling’s top race was made earlier this year and confirmed over the weekend. The Phonak team was led by American Floyd Landis the surprise winner of this year’s Tour de France who subsequently tested positive for the male sex hormone testosterone. If the positive test is confirmed the Tour organisers will strip Landis of his crown and declare Spain's Oscar Pereiro, who finished second overall, the winner. Reports late today seem to confirm high levels of testosterone, but details are still coming.
In the financial year 2005/2006, Phonak spent 3.8 million Swiss francs ($3.07 million) on sponsoring the team. Phonak Chief Executive Valentin Chapero said in May that the company plans to move away from sports and refocus sponsoring on cultural events like music due to concerns that the public mistook Phonak for a bicycle company instead of one of the world's largest makers of high-tech hearing aids.