Here's some reaction to top pro cyclists being suspended from the 2006 Tour de France for suspected blood-doping:
Jan Ullrich, suspended from Tour: “I feel I'm a victim. I am in absolute shock. It's the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my career. I can only say again that I have nothing to do with this thing.”
Bjarne Riis, director of Team CSC: “I never had any kind of indication (Ivan Basso was involved). He accepted my decision. He was very sad. He wanted to do well on the Tour.
“It's a huge blow for everybody.”
Arthur Tabat, Ullrich friend and organizer of the “Rund um Köln” race: “This is the end of his career. There is surely something to the charges. Jan is a great cyclist, who also had great results without doping. The problem in the current situation is: if you don't dope, you don't win the Tour.”
Cycloblog, Tour de France preview, the show must go on? “With much of their opposition now on the plane home, both riders (Landis and Leipheimer) find their chances of overall victory improving by the minute. With two long time trials and long, steady mountain stages, both riders have a very good chance of being in yellow in Paris.”
Pat McQuaid, head of Union Cycliste International: “I’m sad that some of our top riders find themselves implicated in a doping affair but, on the other hand, if they are eventually proven guilty, then cycling is better off without them – we must insist on a clean sport.”
Dummocrats, Tour de France Update #1 — Good riddance: “There will be an immediate outcry that they are all innocent until proven guilty and that the Tour should not take any action. Too bad. They will argue that other riders are getting their dope elsewhere and are not being banned. That is true, but my reply is still too bad.
“More than any other entity, it is the Tour that has been hurt by ongoing doping scandals and accusations. … We have ample evidence that we are in a time where the ability to dope exceeds the ability to detect the doping. For the Tour to ban people based on evidence that may not lead to a conviction is entirely appropriate. The Tour has given ample opportunity to for cycling to clean itself up and it hasn’t happened. The 800 pound gorilla is now taking matters into its own hands.”
Johann Bruyneel, manager of Discovery team: “Definitely what has happened in Spain (with Operacion Puerto) is probably the biggest doping scandal in cycling and maybe even in sports ever,” explained Bruyneel. “Much more than the Festina affair in 1998. And everyday, people are aware as it becomes bigger and bigger and it's definitely damaging the sport of cycling.”
Daily Kos, Doping scandal hits on the eve of Tour de France: “So, with all said and done, it could be Americans on the stand at the end of the Tour. Boy, would that piss off the French who are very tired of Americans winning each year (10 times in the last 20 Tours de France).”
Michael Glitz, Dooping scandal rocks Tour de France: “Imagine if the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets were kicked out of the post season just as they were gearing up to fight for a slot on the World Series. That's what is happening in the world of cycling…”
The Grouch Potatoes, Tour de France riders: “All I do every year is wait the 344 days until the start of next year's tour. I take vacation time so I can come in late to watch the mountain stages. And how do you repay me? You get busted for doping your sorry asses up!!”