Erik Zabel, the Milram rider who last month tearfully confessed to having used EPO in 1996 while at Team Telekom, has been removed as an honorary ambassador for the city of Stuttgart, Germany, which is hosting the World Championships in September. The city is "joining the antidoping front," it said.
The city also took the title away from Rudi Altig, who was the last male German road world champion 41 years ago. Altig, now 70 years old, has not taken a position against doping, the city said, according to the dpa press agency. He has, in fact, shown understanding for those who have confessed. "That he cannot believably stand for a new beginning because of his attitude towards doping, we do not see any way for a continued cooperation with him as ambassador," according to the city's press release. Stuttgart sees it "as of overwhelming importance that the believability of a new beginning in cycling be achieved with the UCI road world championships."
The three remaining "ambassadors" are 2004 World Champion Judith Arndt, 2005 World Champion Regina Schleicher, and Gregor Braun, who won two gold medals in the 1975 Montreal Olympics and was three times world champion in track events.