Yes folks, another set of drug accusations from the 'Spanish Affair' has cut down the accused and opened Le Tour wide open. It's been brewing, but such timing! The day before the start? Better that it happens now than mid-Tour I guess.
Although the evidence is reported to be strong, most riders - Basso and Ullrich included - have denied involvement. Remember there has been no court case for these riders and certianly no conviction as yet. They are out of the race - and their jobs - by implication and because they have been "outed" by the Spanish authorities to the UCI, their teams, and the press. The best wrap up I can find so far is by Time magazine. The last para is very pertinent:
The International Cycling Union is "recommending" that pro teams ask their riders to sign a written statement certifying that they are not involved in this case. Many within the sport caution against demonizing cycling. "This problem not only sullies cycling but other sports as well", says Suárez Cuevas. "We, as cyclists and directors, have always been in favor of strong antidoping measures, but some people go faster than the laws in finding ways to circumvent them".