By Susan Westemeyer
"It is necessary to save cycling," said cycling legend Eddy Merckx, who sees the sport endangered by both recent doping scandals and the ProTour. "If all this continues, the risk of killing cycling exists," he told the newspaper La Derniere Heure.
"The ProTour is a closed system that can kill cycling," he said, noting that there are scheduling problems to the detriment of the smaller races. The sport "cannot live solely from the ProTour," Merckx noted, adding "the smaller races are necessary, too."
One problem with Operacion Puerto, according to Merckx, is that the names of cyclists allegedly involved were released, but not the names of athletes from other sports. "The other federations have kept silent .... but all the guilty have to be punished, in cycling and in the other sports." He hoped that there would be no new doping problems "to cloud this season."