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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 July 2006, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Cycling's latest scandal
Ivan Basso
Basso is at the centre of a media storm in Strasbourg
The suspension of Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla from the Tour de France could be the tip of the iceberg, with more than 50 riders implicated in a Spanish doping probe.

The investigation centres on links between riders and a Spanish doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes, after anabolic steroids, frozen blood and blood transfusion equipment were discovered in raids by Spanish police.

The affair is shaping up to be the biggest scandal to hit cycling since the Festina affair in 1998.


  • Spanish police launched Operation Puerta last year, their government having previously announced it was determined to crack down on doping in sport.

  • On 24 May, Liberty Seguros chief Manolo Saiz, Comunidad Valenciana chief Jose Ignacio Labarta and Spanish doctors Eufemiano Fuentes and Jose Luis Merino were arrested by Spain's Civil Guard. Liberty Seguros then withdrew sponsorship from their team.

  • In the aftermath of the raids, T-Mobile's management asked all its riders to sign written declarations stating that they were not involved in any way.

  • Protesting his innocence, Labarta quit his post on 1 June, saying he was "acting to avoid damaging the image of the team".

  • A day later, Swiss team Phonak announced that they would not pick Spain's Jose Enrique Gutierrez and Colombian Santiago Botero after they were linked to Dr Fuentes in the Spanish media.

  • On 9 June, Saiz decided to step down as director of Astana-Wurth, who had taken over sponsorship of the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros.

  • Spanish team Comunidad Valenciana had their invitation withdrawn by organisers of the Tour on 13 June.

  • On Tuesday, Ullrich was cleared to compete in the Tour after race organisers ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) dismissed media allegations against him. The German denied any wrong-doing.

  • On Friday, the ASO announced it was in possession of a list of more than 50 riders involved in the doping probe after being handed a 37-page document by the Spanish Cycling Federation.

  • T-Mobile revealed the report showed that there was "clearly contact" between Dr Fuentes and Ullrich, Sevilla and team manager Rudy Pevenage and suspended all three.

  • CSC rider Ivan Basso, joint favourite for the race with Ullrich, was then excluded by ASO.

  • Just a day before the Tour begins, the Astana-Wurth team are forced to withdraw after the team members named in the investigation leaves them with too few riders to compete.

    Astana-Wurth forced out of Tour
    01 Jul 06 |  Cycling
    Ullrich and Basso out of Le Tour
    30 Jun 06 |  Cycling
    Drug-probe team lose Tour invite
    13 Jun 06 |  Cycling
    Director quits after drugs probe
    09 Jun 06 |  Cycling
    Phonak sidelines duo from racing
    02 Jun 06 |  Cycling

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