In his first public statements since his exclusion, T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich has said, "I am shocked. I still don't have anything to do with this affair."
According to T-Mobile, Ullrich sees himself "as a victim. I was in peak form and now I could cry, because I have to head home." The 32-year-old will now return to his home base in Switzerland, to get a few days of peace and quiet. "Together with my lawyers I will then set out to prove my innocence."
Ullrich said that after the decision was made public, his teammates considered not racing the Tour de France out of solidarity with their captain. "But I told them to do it with a vengeance now. I want them to fight for me at the Tour."
Oscar Sevilla also gave his comments. "It's with a lot of sadness that I am leaving the Tour de France," he said. "I can understand why my team would take such a precautionary measure, even if its hard. I am remaining calm but now I am set to return to Spain in order to prove my innocence".