German public TV giant ARD and Team Sauerland have agreed to an early contract extension through 2015. The Berlin-based boxing stable will continue to deliver between 10 and 12 shows each year. “We are pleased to further extend our successful cooperation with ARD,” said manager Wilfried Sauerland, whose boxers are promoted by Team Sauerland. “Together we have delivered high-class boxing on a regular basis to the German and the international audience. We have a very successful line-up not only of superstars such as Arthur Abraham or world champions like Marco Huck and Sebastian Sylvester, but we also pride ourselves on our up-and-coming talents such as Dominik Britsch, Karo Murat and Alexander Frenkel. Internationally, we also have a strong roster, featuring the likes of Mikkel Kessler, Nikolai Valuev and Alexander Povetkin. We very much look forward to six more years of fantastic boxing on ARD. This is a great reward for the hard work we have put in.”
Volker Herres, Director of Programming at ARD, was equally delighted to extend the contract through 2015. “We are pleased to continue the cooperation,” he said. “We have a partner who has a line-up of world-class athletes, is a role model as far as drug testing is concerned and also is actively involved in charity as well as youth development programs. However, the most important thing is that we reach millions of viewers with our carefully chosen fights. We have a lot of young viewers and people who normally do not watch ARD – this is very important to us since we are there for everyone.”
As requested by ARD, strict anti-doping rules were a requirement for the contract extension. Team Sauerland has agreed to extensive drug testing via the German National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), becoming the first and only boxing stable to have far-reaching agreements in place with the NADA. All Sauerland boxers as well as their opponents are subject to random testing during practice and after the fights. “That is a milestone for boxing,” Team Sauerland General Manager Chris Meyer said. “We have agreed to thorough testing. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards doping.”
Spaniard Pablo Navascues lost his shot at Sebastian Sylvester´s IBF Middleweight Title after testing positive for banned substances during a random training test. He was replaced by Billy Lyell, who suffered a tenth-round TKO defeat on January 30.