Ulrich and Basso out
This is crazy, but didn't we know there might be doping involved. There are new information by the hour right now.
Ullrich and Basso out of Le Tour
Ullrich was among the favourites for Le Tour
Pre-race favourites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso are both out of the Tour de France after further dramatic events in cycling's blood-doping scandal.
Cycling's governing body UCI told Ullrich's T-Mobile team that he was named in an anti-doping probe in Spain.
Basso has now also been withdrawn from the Tour after also being named in the official investigation.
Ullrich's Spanish team-mate Oscar Sevilla and team manager Rudy Pevenage have also been suspended.
A T-Mobile team spokesman said: "If we are presented with evidence which leads us to doubt the credibility of our riders, then we act upon it immediately."
Following the first reports of the scandal emanating from Spain, T-Mobile management asked all its riders to sign written declarations stating that they were not involved in any way.
Team manager Olaf Ludwig said: "We talked to the riders several times and even have their declarations of innocence in written form.
"At first we had no reason to doubt the riders' statements, but that situation has now changed profoundly."
Ullrich and Basso may not be the last big names to be suspended from the Tour de France after organisers ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) revealed that they have been given a list of more than 50 riders involved in the probe.
ASO spokesman Philippe Sudres said: "The Spanish Ministry of Sport handed the file to the cycling federation who passed it on to UCI and Tour organisers."
Reports emerged on Tuesday that Ullrich was part of the investigation but he immediately denied any wrong-doing.
Ullrich, the 1997 winner, had been among the favourites for this year's Tour, which starts on Saturday.
Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong retired after last year's triumph leaving the field wide open.
In addition to his win in 1997, the German has been runner-up five times and was third last year.
Italy's Lorenzo Bernucci and Germany's Stephan Schreck will now replace Ullrich and Sevilla in the T-Mobile team.