June 30, 2006
Black Friday: Basso, Mancebo, Ullrich all withdraw from Tour
The 1998 Tour has nothing on this year's edition, as both favorites and at least one other team leader have been withdrawn from the Tour by their teams.
Teams are scrambling to reshuffle after all 21 teams agreed to ban all riders named in the Operación Puerto report, including Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, and Francisco Mancebo. The named riders won't be replaced on their team's Tour roster.
Organizers are considering whether to try again to suspend Astaná-Würth, since 9 of its riders are among the 37 riders on the list. Team leader Alexandre Vinokourov is not among them. Tour director Christian Prudhomme told AFP:
"Astaná-Würth is a bit more complicated because there are so many names from that team being linked to the doping probe," added the Frenchman. "Some of those implicated are on the Tour, and some are not. To us, it looks like they have been operating a team doping policy."
Oddsmakers are working out the results, and currently have Alejandro Valverde as the favorite, at 6.4-1.
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Tracked on Jul 13, 2006 6:01:47 PM
all 21 teams agreed to ban all riders named in the Operación Puerto report, including Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, and Francisco Mancebo. The named riders won't be replaced on their team's Tour roster.
So, looks like the "Race to Replace" just got a lot shorter.... (i.e., isn't this an American Tour now?)
I'm really at a loss for words over this whole thing man. It's rather sad, but at the same time it's kind of exciting - the race just became a whole different animal. I gotta feel good about Floyd, Levi, and George's shots now. A sad day for the sport, but it's still gonna be a helluva race.
Posted by: Eric at Jun 30, 2006 8:44:08 AM
Unreal. Really? Come on. Seriously? All out? Ack!
Makes my favorite to _make_ the podium, Landis, a favorite to top the podium.
Posted by: Matthew at Jun 30, 2006 8:55:13 AM
This is terrible. I would feel better if some due process was involved. These guys won't get this year back.
On the other hand, if they are guilty, this will seem like a great move; but only in hindsight.
Does this mean that when the dust settles, say by the end of the summer, the winner of this year's Giro d'Italia will end up being Gilberto Simoni? That guy whined and bitched the whole race, continued his usual disgraceful behaviour and now gets the win?
And yes, Our man "Phloyd", the Mennonoite marauder, the smartest man in the peloton, will now duke it out with Georgeous George for the Tour win.
Posted by: Paul Rinehart at Jun 30, 2006 9:12:51 AM
Wow, I nearly wrecked my car when I heard this on news on NPR this morning.
Here's what I don't get:
"all 21 teams agreed to ban all riders named in the Operación Puerto report"
"Organizers are considering whether to try again to suspend Astaná-Würth, since 9 of its riders are among the 37 riders on the list."
Doesn't reconcile with the previous statement, which would imply that Astaná-Würth is also withdrawing its 9 implicated riders.
And wait, riders withdrawn aren't being replaced? So you'll have teams starting the tour already under-manned?
Whatever you think of all this, it ain't boring.
Posted by: noelle at Jun 30, 2006 10:23:47 AM
Noelle: The “9 riders from Astaná-Würth” reference includes riders not on their Tour roster. Three of their Tour squad (Jaksche, Beloki, and Nozal, and reserver Aitor Osa) are on the list.
I went through the list, comparing it to the provisional start list, here.
Posted by: Frank at Jun 30, 2006 10:31:42 AM
Oh, I see - thanks for doing a great job. As always you're the first place I check for Tour info.
Posted by: noelle at Jun 30, 2006 1:40:45 PM
THIS IS TERRIBLE,
IT WAS SET AS A GREAT RACE! WHY DON`T THEY DO TESTING AND IF THE RYDERS ARE GUILTY NAIL THEM, BUT IF THEY ARE CLEAN LET THEM RACE! A LIST DOESN'T MEAN THEY ARE GUILTY, BUT TESTING RESULTS GUARANTEES THE TRUTH.
SAD DAY FOR THE TOUR!
Posted by: GEORGIO at Jun 30, 2006 7:40:28 PM
This makes the tour a joke and vindicates Lance Armstrong's accusations against Dick Pound and the other so called Drug Police. The prisoners in Gitmo get more due process than do the riders of the tour who are presumed guilty. All should boycott all of the sponsors and all broadcasts of this years tour. Get rid of the drug nannies.
Posted by: Bill WIneberg at Jun 30, 2006 7:54:53 PM
I'm just sitting here stunned. After being offline all day, I was just going to check and see what time the OLN coverage started so I could set the coffee pot timer.
This IS terrible and a sad day, indeed. Georgio, I think you are right on the mark with your words.
I take no pleasure in the heightened Americans' chances (even thought Levi is a homeboy and I'm a big Floyd fan). In fact, honestly, I wonder if I'll even watch.
Guilty until proven innocent. Ullrich and Basso's teams immediately abandon them. The drug sophisticates are clearly WAY out in front of cycling's administrative, political and medical apparatus and that apparatus is completely grasping at straws.
Sorry for the rant. I'm getting more disappointed by the character count. Every rider should boycott the race 'cause maybe next time they'll be on The List. Or maybe all the riders should be suspended 'cause they're all guilty until they prove themselves innocent.
Geez. I guess I can sleep in for the next 3 weeks...
Posted by: Rex at Jun 30, 2006 10:37:59 PM
ok..... we're talking about EPO..... the same results can be had by sleeping in a "tent". Lets solve the problem and let athletes use EPO. Come on, creatine is worst for you.
Sad day.... I think its going to be 1998 all over again.
Posted by: George Prionas at Jul 1, 2006 1:18:16 AM
Believe it or not, Dick Pound and WADA would also like to put altitude tents on the list of banned performance-enhancing methods.
I tend to suspect most of the athletes are probably guilty as charged, but Dick Pound is still a weenie.
Posted by: noelle at Jul 1, 2006 9:03:00 AM
This smacks of all the injustice of the MaCarthy era. How about due process of law? To take away a year of hard work in preperation with out giving the accused an opportunity to defend themselves is a terrible miscarrage of justice. Some of the charges, to be honest, may be true. However, doesn't it seem suspicious to level the charges just before the race, and that with no chance to appeal. This smacks of "MaCarthy-ism" at it's worst.
Perhaps this is the view of an American that belives a person is presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty.
Posted by: Bonz at Jul 1, 2006 10:05:05 AM
The only reason the Tour enforces a drug policy is for the advertisers. The only reason the advertisers care is because they don't want their brands mixed up with illegal activity. The only reason drugs are illegal is because do-gooders think they will feel better if they frown on others use of drugs. (the laws themselves are never effective at anything except enriching pushers and reelecting more do-gooders).
Posted by: ekim yhaclum at Jul 1, 2006 1:07:21 PM
So is this the end of racing as we know it,
Why sould the teams race,Let them stop racing till all are free from the press.
Will they be able to race in the tour or not.
well very bad.
lets get it to gether people.
From A zimbabwen with a loss of words.
Posted by: Gavin at Jul 1, 2006 3:55:05 PM
After the embarassment of the failed/wrong chase of Lance Armstrong, why is anyone listening to the European press anymore? They're worse than ours in the states.
Posted by: JERRY at Jul 1, 2006 8:10:51 PM
Why now ?
If they've known about this they've known about it for months. Why now ? Why was it done in this way ? If I didn't know better I would think there were political reasons for this that have nothing to do with drugs. Why did they wait so late ? Vinokorov of Kazakstan got the total shaft. I'm not even going to watch this year. This is total French way of doing things. They deserve what they get they are going to wind up killing the sport.
Posted by: john at Jul 1, 2006 11:50:27 PM