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Skoda Should Force Reform on the Tainted Tour de France

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Why Not Follow Ford Example and Demand Change?
Weak Tour Unable, Unwilling To Force Drugs Off The Agenda

“Why can’t Skoda lead the way and insist that it will withdraw participation and funding until the Tour de France cleans up its act.”

“Did Ford ever actually read any of the drivel printed in the News of the World which sat alongside the adverts for their cars”

Ford Motor Co has withdrawn advertising from Britain’s News of the World (NoW) “newspaper” to express its disgust with the top selling Sunday tabloid’s alleged wrongdoing, with an effective blast where it hurts the most – the bottom line.

Wayward media stars like Golf’s Tiger Woods and Football’s Wayne Rooney have suffered similar action when advertisers withdrew their sponsorship money to show that they didn’t wish to be associated with low-rent behavior that appalled sports fans.

Given that the annual Tour de France cycle race has been an illegal drugs driven event for time immemorial, isn’t it amazing that high profile brand names like Skoda are still willing to be prominently involved and tainted by such a corrupt sporting phenomenon? Every day for the next couple of weeks, Skoda cars will be seen alongside riders in this event which has never seriously tried to clean up its act beyond a bit of hand-wringing when its champions are inevitably discovered shooting up illegal stimulants.

And it’s not just Skoda, owned by VW of Germany, that is happy to be associated with such dishonesty. A quick look at the Tour de France’s website sponsorship section shows these massive companies – Vittell, Carrefour, Orange, Alcatel, Nestle, Europcar, Kawasaki – brazenly funding this event. And these were the names that most people have heard of. There are many others that are not household names to me.

Every year it is the same old story. We’ve finally cleaned up our act, say the Tour organizers, and yet as sure as night follows day, when the tests have been concluded conveniently weeks after the winners’ celebrations have long subsided, we find the drug taint has not been eliminated.

Given that Skoda has never sold a single extra car from participating in the Tour, why can’t it lead the way and insist that it will withdraw participation and funding until the Tour de France cleans up its act. If it and other sponsors withdrew their money, that might be the final spur to clean up and throw out the cheats.

News of the Screws

Incidentally, in the wake of Ford’s action against the News of the World, you might take time out to actually read this ludicrous, childish, prurient, shameful publication on line. Three years ago, when defending Max Mosley against NoW entrapment, I held my nose and broke the habit of a lifetime and read bits of this despicable piece of work. What a miserable comic for the ill-educated. What kind of country is this that millions of sad, dimwit, moronic, losers pay money to read this garbage? Wouldn’t it be a great day if the Screws finally slipped down the plughole where it belongs, taking all who sail in it as well?

It all makes you wonder if Ford and other advertisers like Mitsubishi now threatening to pull their money had ever actually read any of the drivel printed in the News of the World which sat alongside the adverts for their cars. And presumably Skoda, and its masters in Wolfsburg, Germany, must know that the Tour is an event tainted by drugs.


Neil Winton – July 5, 2011

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