The various teams taking part in the Tour de France have now suspended all of their riders implicated in the Operacion Puerto affair, including Ivan Basso (CSC), whose nickname was allegedly "Birillo" in Fuentes' files, and Francisco Mancebo (AG2R). Joseba Beloki (Astana-Wurth) is another to be sent home. After Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla were taken out this morning by T-Mobile, the teams are now pulling their other riders out. The pressure from the organisers, the UCI, the sponsors, and the non-affected teams has been intense.
ASO public relations man Bernard Hinault told radio RTL that he expects 15-20 riders to be ejected before the day is out. The UCI will then ask the national cycling federations to start disciplinary proceedings against the riders named in the Spanish network.
Teams spokesman Patrick Lefevere said that there will be no replacements for the riders who have been taken out. "We have unanimously decided to send all the riders who are on the list home, and not to substitute them."
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