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Drenthe cancels Vuelta plans due to doping reports

Posted on Nov 02, 09:28PM | IANS

The Dutch province of Drenthe withdrew its support for the attempt to organise the start of the cycling 2015 Tour of Spain, the Vuelta a Espana, following continuous doping reports related to cycling.

"The international cycling world is being discredited in recent times," said a press release of Drenthe Thursday.

"This has negative implications for the image of the tour and possible sponsorships. In addition, the province will encounter more budget cuts by the central government in the forthcoming years."

Last month the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) revealed a report of 1,000 pages on the structural use of doping in the former US Postal/Discovery cycling team, masterminded by Lance Armstrong. Following the report Dutch bank Rabobank decided to end its sponsorship of both the men's and the women's professional cycling teams per Dec 31, 2012.

Drenthe had reserved 600,000 euros to get the Vuelta start. Five stages were planned in the Netherlands in 2015, but it's uncertain whether the Tour of Spain will now start on Dutch territory at all.

In 2009 Drenthe organised the start of the Vuelta, which was a huge success with thousands of spectators watching the event. The Spanish organisation was also very enthusiastic and wanted to return.