One week after the doping news from T-Mobile’s Patrick Sinkewitz and one day after the Vino-bomb, and the third doping story surfaced to ruin the Tour de France.

A rider that was currently in the Tour de France peloton had tested positive for testosterone, a banned substance that plays a role in enhancing recuperation … [the] rider’s identity remained unknown for a few hours, but when the riders started rolling over the finish line on the legendary Col d’Aubisque, Cristian Moreni’s name surfaced as the concerned rider—a likeable Italian and a member of the French team Cofidis.

… [the] 34 year-old Moreni was picked up by the French gendarmerie after his finish in 41st place, 21 minutes back, on the Aubisque. He was escorted to be tested as part of the stage’s “random” controls. A police car followed in the team car caravan up the Col d’Aubisque to meet Moreni post-stage, after his control was performed. He was taken away by the Gendarmerie (French police) for questioning.

You gotta love it when riders are arrested as they cross the finish line; escorted by armed gendarmes immediately to a doping control, and then taken away for questioning.

So right now it’s looking like Contador / Evans / Leipheimer for the podium, with final placings to be determined by Saturday’s time trial … failing any more shockers over the next couple of days.

On another note, T-Mobile has indicated that they will announced their plans for continued sponsorship of their team on Sunday or Monday, after the finish of the Tour. Generally, announcements of announcements are not good news. With that in mind, I sent the following email to the team through their “contact-us” link on the team’s website:

It is with a heavy heart that I read Christian Frommert’s comments that T-Mobile will announce whether they will continue their future sponsorship after the Tour this year.

Generally, announcements like this do not bode well for the team, and are an indication that sponsorship will be dropped.

If this is the case, I am begging T-Mobile to reconsider. We are obviously in a transition year between the massing doping of years past, and a new generation of clean (or at least cleaner) riders.

Dropping sponsorship will not help change things. Dropping sponsorship will hurt the sport at a time when it needs help the most.

Bob Stapleton has done a terrific job gathering a group of riders are committed to racing cleanly (with the apparent exception of Patrick Sinkewitz). The fact that he was caught doping shows that the out-of-competition tests are working, and that it is becoming ever more difficult to cheat.

Things are changing, and cycling needs your support more than ever, with riders like Linus Gerdemann succeeding AND speaking out publicly against doping.

I urge T-Mobile to please continue sponsorship of the team.

I’m as sick of all the doping scandals as anyone; but if sponsors keep quitting the sport at the first sign of any scandal, the sport will die … and I don’t want to go back to the days where the Tour got a half-hour of coverage on Sundays on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and nothing else.

A new generation of riders is coming up, and hopefully it’s a generation that rejects the doping culture that seems so endemic with the current generation … and these riders need support.

Of course, I also sent that email BEFORE news of Vinokourov’s positive test for homologous blood-doping became public; before Rasmussen was withdrawn and fired by Rabobank; and before news of Cristian Moreni’s positive test for testosterone …

So what else can we do?

This is such a beautiful, incredible sport … and when I watch it now, I feel like I’m watching the cycling equivalent of the collapse of the World Trade Center.