Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), the world’s fifth-largest provider of computer services, accepted Team CSC owner Bjarne Riis’s apology after his May 25 confession that he used banned drugs to win the 1996 Tour de France, and will continue its title sponsorship.
“(Riis’s) candor and his commitment to cleaning up the sport represents a potential turning point for cycling,” Henrik Bo Pedersen, an executive of El Segundo, California-based CSC, said in a statement.
“Needless to say, we are deeply disappointed by Bjarne Riis’ recent admission of past doping,” said Pedersen. “While we remain steadfast in our condemnation of doping, we accept Bjarne’s apologies and believe that his candor — and his commitment to cleaning up the sport — represents a potential turning point for cycling. We have therefore concluded that we will continue our sponsorship.
“An important factor in our decision is Team CSC’s groundbreaking anti-doping program, which has become a model for clean sports in general. Bjarne has been instrumental in establishing the program, and we believe his continued leadership in Team CSC and the sport is critical to ongoing efforts to clean up cycling. Indeed, we strongly encourage all of the ProTour teams to implement anti-doping programs similar to the one in place at Team CSC.”
The Denmark-based team’s riders include current Tour de Suisse leader Frank Schleck, 2007 Giro d’Italia runner-up Andy Schleck, 2006 world champion time trialist Fabian Cancellara, 2007 Paris-Roubaix winner Stuart O’Grady, and Carlos Sastre, fourth at last year’s Tour de France, which begins in London July 7.