Skip to comments.Astana-Würth leaves the Tour (Vinokourov out)
Posted on 06/30/2006 5:34:29 PM PDT by managusta
Dutch television's sports anchorman Mart Smeets has just reported that the Astana-Würth team has left the Tour de France.
The team had five of its Tour riders officially named in the Operacion Puerto affair (Sergio Paulinho, Isidro Nozal, Allan Davis, Alberto Contador, Joseba Beloki), as well as several others (Michele Scarponi, Marcos Serrano, David Etxebarria, Angel Vicioso, Unai Osa, Jörg Jaksche), and of course ex-team manager Manolo Saiz. The team therefore wouldn't have had enough riders to start.
In an official statement, Active Bay, the team's management company, confirmed the news. "In view of the content of the dossier sent to Spanish authorities, Active Bay has decided, in accordance with the Ethical Code signed between the UCI ProTour's teams, to withdraw from the Tour de France those riders that appear in the above-mentioned dossier.
"This decision is adopted without prejudice of the respect to the right to the presumption of innocence of these riders and of that Active Bay will exercise the actions for the defence of its rights and those of its workers. This measure does not concern the team's riders of the Tour de France that are not included in the dossier: Alexander Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Carlos Barredo and Luis León Sanchez.
Nevertheless, the withdrawal of the riders that appear in the above-mentioned dossier implies that the Tour of France team will not have the minimum number of riders demanded by the UCI rules, which means the team will not be able to take the start tomorrow morning in the Tour de France."
The organisers of the Tour, ASO, were already determined to refuse to allow Astana-Würth to start, despite a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport that said it could.
It is a shame.
Too bad he can't jump to another team that lost one of their good players.....
I'm glad Lance didn't come back for an 8th win -- with all these players knocked out, he might have won, but it wouldn't have meant the same.
Better for him to be far away as the sport goes through this bad spot.
Many more drop outs from le Tour and they might be left with just a camera car driving through the countryside filming an open road.
This is really pathetic.
I don't understand why someone would want to dope.
Wouldn't they know in their hearts they cheated?
It just wouldn't mean the same to me.
Maybe the money is too big to pass up .... ??
Americans, in general, don't understand the passion felt by Europeans for cycling. Jan Ullrich is a star in Germany. Mario Cippolini was HUGE (hugh!) in Italy. These guys are similar in star power to Brad Pitt or George Clooney in Europe. Unfortunately, the methods they use (many use transfusions from their own bodies that have had the red blood cells isolated and increased in proportion, then injected back into their bodies) are not generally detectable. Is it dangerous? Absolutely! Many riders have died from heart attacks because their blood (red blood cells) is too thick. To be a national hero, though, is a big temptation.
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my Tour de France 2006 list.
That's really a shame. I really liked him and he had to be a favorite. I wish he could get with another team. There is an opening on T-Mobile now that Ulrich is out. He was with them last year but I guess this puts Kloden in the driver's seat there.