"How was that for a day?," asks Gerolsteiner's Ronny Scholz, who returned from a two-hour team training ride to hear the news of the day Friday. "I was shocked at the extent to which the apparent deceit is organized. So I find that the steps taken by the Tour management and the team leaders to be right. Obviously they have proof which supports their actions. The affair has to be fully resolved, the riders have to be held responsible. I have no understanding for this kind of practice. And if the suspicions should prove to be true, I really don't know, how I would react if I met one of these riders - after all, this has to do with my profession, which is being discredited by a few."
"But despite all the turbulence from yesterday," he continued on his website, www.ronnyscholz.de, "I'm looking forward to the Tour. And I hope that the sporting aspect doesn't disappear into the background, because after the ousting of Ullrich, Basso & co., the Tour will be more interesting than ever."
Writing at www.nachrichten.at, his teammate Georg Totschnig says that "nothing worse could have happened to cycling than what happened yesterday. The news of Jan Ullrich's suspension put all of my colleagues in a state of shock."
He has personal reasons to feel that way: "With Jan, it has affected one of my best friends in the scene. You could sit down to dinner with him and talk not just about cycling, but about everything. When I sat together with my wife Michi, him and and his girlfriend Sara, we talked about how his daughter Sarah was doing in kindergarten, when he would hold his next party at his house in Switzerland, and whether singer Udo Lindenberg would drop by. Lance Armstrong was different. He spoke the whole evening only about training, his saddle and the position of his handlebars. For him there was only cycling, and that's probably exactly why he won the Tour seven times."
"Maybe we needed this scandal in order to save the sport," said Gerolsteiner's Peter Wrolich. "Millions of people line the streets to watch the cyclists - we can't just sweep it under the table. But according to the reports out of Spain, there were 200 bags of blood, and 150 of them came from other sports. It will be interesting to see whether the other affected athletes will be named, or whether cycling will be the sacrificial lamb."
Also commenting at www.nachrichten.at, his countryman Bernhard Eisel of FdJeux.com, said, "It is sad that this sort of thing has become normal. I support an exhaustive explanation."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto
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