BERLIN (AFP) — Alpecin, sponsor of German cycling team Giant-Alpecin, announced Tuesday it will drop its advertising slogan, “doping for the hair,” for the duration of the Tour de France, which starts Saturday.
The world’s top cycling race begins in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Alpecin, which manufactures a men’s shampoo that claims to boost hair growth, wants to make sure the focus is only on its cyclists until the final stage on July 26.
Alpecin, which is based in Bielefeld, Germany, insists it is committed to promoting a “doping-free team” and wants to drop its slogan to underline that as it backs the only German team in this year’s Tour de France.
“I would hope that Alpecin as sponsors, and above all the cyclists, will not be the subject of any discussions during the next three weeks of the Tour,” said Alpecin’s managing director Edward R. Doerrenberg in a statement.
“We are aware of our responsibility and therefore distinguish clearly between the claims of an effective product and fraud in sport.”
Alpecin started its sponsorship at the beginning of the year and the cycling team is led by German sprinter John Degenkolb, who won this year’s Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix races to claim a rare double, and Marcel Kittel, a sprinter who will miss the Tour de France after suffering from an illness this year.