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Four of top five '05 finishers won't start Tour this year

Updated: July 1, 2006, 12:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

STRASBOURG, France -- A major doping scandal threw the first Tour de France of the post-Lance Armstrong era into chaos Friday, with four top 2005 returning finishers -- including favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso -- forced out of the world's premier cycling race under a cloud of suspicion.

Some in cycling hailed the decision to bar Ullrich, Basso, Francisco Mancebo and other riders implicated in a doping probe in Spain as a breakthrough for efforts to clean up the oft-tainted sport. ...

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