We're going early and late until volume dies down again.
CyclingNews (link likely to change tomorrow) has comment from Rasmussen:
Michael Rasmussen has given reporters his reaction to his exclusion from the race. He has pleaded his innocence, despite his succession of missed tests and the fact that team manager Theo de Rooy said last night that the Dane had admitted lying to the team.
"I'm shattered. I'm on the verge of tears," said Rasmussen today, quoted in the Danish tabloid BT. "I was not in Italy. Not at all. That's the story of one man who believes he recognised me. There is no hint of evidence."
He was referring to former professional Davide Cassani, who said he saw Rasmussen training in the Italian Dolomites on June 13th and 14th. Cassani said that he is "100% certain" that it was Rasmussen. This was at a time when the rider had told the team and the UCI that he was in Mexico.
"My career is ruined," he told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. "I have no idea what I should do or where I will go. This is an enormous blow for me, and also for all the guys from the Rabo team. They're devastated."
In relation to Rasmussen's protestation of innocence, this appears to have been disputed by the team:
"When Rasmussen was confronted with this information he confirmed to Theo de Rooy [team manager] he was at that moment in Italy," said Rabobank press officer Jacob Bergsma last night. "That was the reason De Rooy decided to get him out of the Tour and the team."
The rest of Rabobank started today's stage, but Menchov abandoned.
Counterpunch expresses the opinion that cycling may be on the verge of McCarthyism at this point and though it's a great thing to try and clean up the sport, the concerns expressed by Floyd Landis about due process once again enter the picture:
All fans should be glad that there is increased scrutiny of doping, but things are out of control as due process for riders under suspicion is pushed aside to create an appearance of no tolerance. But no tolerance of what? Of not submitting paperwork in a timely fashion? And what of routine lab errors? What recourse does a rider have if they are accused under a tainted lab sample? Under these conditions today, Heaven help any rider subjected to the routine bureaucratic failures that cross each of our paths, generally without dire consequence, on a daily basis.
Mother Jones, of all outlets, looks at the scandals and asks with relevance, "If Only a Doping Scandal Could Mean Victory in Iraq." Yeah, we've been wondering that too.
Independent (UK) thinks the Tour has hit rock bottom. We're not so sure-- It could be raining.
USA Today/Lopresti thinks Cycling is the worst of all the sullied sports.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives us a "foaming rant" from last year. We could all use a brew or two.
In the News UK has Pat McQuaid as pleased that cheaters are getting caught, and also still gets it wrong about Floyd Landis. McQuaid concedes that there are some problems still to be overcome in cycling however:
"I can see that there are difficulties, I can see the sport has gone through a difficult period but that's a period of change and I can see that at the far end of that period the sport will come out of it a lot better and a lot stronger," he said.
Last year's Tour winner Floyd Landis was stripped of his title and banned from cycling after testing positive for abnormal levels of testosterone in his system.
BBC Sport gives us a timeline of current Tour de France cheaters , and includes audio of its' interview with the ubiquitous Pat McQuaid.
The Guardian Unlimited's William Fotheringham says Le Tour can be saved, and he tells us how. This Guardian Unlimited piece would seem to prove that Pat McQuaid is in denial.
The Chicago Sun Times says this is the worst blow yet for the TdF, but it likes the way other countries treat doping and cheaters, and wonders why sponsors haven't left and our sports haven fallen like cycling has yet in the USA.
The NYT Edward Wyatt writes that the Tour is in tatters, few would argue with that assessment.
HPLC touts IRMS testing as catching cheats such as Floyd Landis and Christian Moreni.
Media Life Magazine thought that things were bad when Floyd Landis was accused of cheating in last year's Tour de France and the subsequent fallout that followed lost sponsors for the doomed Phonak team and the sport. But, things just got a lot worse for cycling:
Last year, Landis team sponsor Phonak dropped out following his positive tests for increased levels of testosterone. The Discovery Channel said it will end its sponsorship this year, though it cites financial concerns
Through the weekend, viewership for the Tour was down less than 10 percent from last year, decent numbers considering an American was leading then.
But with the recent scandals, ratings could fall off further. The Tour claims worldwide viewership of some 100 million, but already two German TV stations have dropped coverage, citing doping scandals.
Rant serves up "Le Tour Ironique", and Hunter Thompson's words make more sense than they ever did before. And we thought that the Landis scandal was the doping allegation to end all doping allegations.
Lefti says we're seeing another round of "Guilty until proven innocent."
Lanterne Rouge doesn't get Moreni, who must not have learned anything from Landis' tests last year.
Baker Blog says the other shoe has dropped, cycling is a gutter sport between dog fighting and pro wrestling, and Lancey-boy should come clean.
Ranting and Rambling thinks if you are a successful cheat, you'll be caught, which makes you stupid.
Ysobelle is just fucking stunned.
Crooked Shore asks, "Bike race or Bad Mystery Novel?"
Sportz Assassin asks why even have the Tour with last year's Landis affair and this year's utter debacle?
The Science of Sports says well done Rabobank, and that you can't trust those athletes who can look you in the eyes and swear innocence anymore. He mentions Floyd Landis fighting dodgy lab procedures, but makes no direct comment on Landis guilt or lack thereof.
GreenPagan wants to know when the fans will revolt and throw out the cheaters? In a week of unsavory sports scandals in the US he wants to know what it will take to wake people up, especially when it come to baseball?
Red State Rabble is sick at heart about the current crisis professional cycling finds itself in, but that won't keep him off his bike nor will it stop him from appreciating the beauty of the peloton.
Running in Oz puts the current cycling crisis in proper perspective.
Maple Leaf Tattoo is disgusted with the Tour de France after the Landis affair last year, and this year's utter meltdown. She says either cancel the race, or let everyone dope.
LA Scene is so upset by what has happened in the past week in France that supporting Floyd Landis in his quest for justice is now also in question. There are ten things we need to consider, one of which may be bad news for Floyd:
6-Now you have to go back and look at Floyd Landis' case. This is still in arbitration. With doping scandals rocking the Tour now, it can't help Landis' case. If I was an arbitrator, I don't think it would be helping.
So Quoted brings up two of the more upbeat stories in cycling: Saul Raisin and Team Slipstream. Jonathan Vaughters is helping VeloNews cover the tour and Paul Scott's association with the Landis defense team was brought up by a poster.