Notebook: Wiggins launching team, Germans to see Tour, French runner banned


Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is launching his own cycling team as he prepares for the 2016 Olympics.

The British rider announced on Thursday that the team to be launched this spring will be named Wiggins and sponsored by his current outfit Sky. The team will also be supported by the British cycling federation.

The 34-year-old rider is aiming for an eighth career medal at the 2016 Rio Games to become the most decorated British Olympian, and said he will also try to beat the Hour Record in the summer. The record involves riding as far as possible in an hour in a velodrome.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist became the first Briton to win the Tour in 2012. He will continue to ride for Sky until the end of April.

Germany to see Tour live again

German broadcaster ARD says it will resume live coverage of the Tour de France after skipping the event three times because of various doping scandals in the sport.

ARD television producer Volker Herres says "recent German successes, especially in the Tour de France, and a new generation of German cyclists who have worked time and time again for a sport free of doping, have led to this sporting event's greater appeal."

Herres says a central point in ARD's coverage will be the fight against doping and political context behind the sport.

The decision to resume live coverage for the first time since 2011 was taken by ARD directors in November. Financial details behind acquisition of rights were not announced.

The German channel will cover the event daily from July 4-26.

France suspends marathoner

French marathoner James Theuri has been suspended for one year by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) after missing three out-of-competition tests.

The Kenyan-born Theuri, granted citizenship in 2006, was one of the best French marathon runners with a personal best of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 39 seconds.

AFLD said Theuri failed to provide his whereabouts for seven months, and was suspended to Dec. 23.

The French athletics federation initially decided against suspending the 36-year-old Theuri after considering he missed the tests through negligence, but AFLD appealed the decision.

Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press