New sponsor of the Tour de France cycling team vows 'zero tolerance'

PARIS - The new sponsor of the Tour de France cycling team now renamed Belkin is vowing "zero tolerance" for doping.

Chet Pipkin, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based consumer technology company Belkin, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the team is committed to "doing things in a very visible and up front and honest way."

The Belkin Pro Cycling Team used to be called Rabobank, after its former sponsor. But the Dutch lender ended 17 years of cycling sponsorship last October, pulling 15 million euros ($20 million) per year from the team. The bank said it was no longer convinced that the doping-tainted sport can become "clean and honest."

Pipkin wouldn't give a dollar figure but said Belkin's sponsorship of the team is "the biggest one we have ever made in the marketing arena."

Belkin signed as title sponsor through 2015.

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