If Christian Prudhomme really believes in the future of the Tour de France he must call off this year’s event immediately.

There is no other credible course of action.

First Alexandre Vinokourov, then Cristian Moreni and then, shortly before midnight on Wednesday, came news that the maillot jaune, Michael Rasmussen, had been suspended by his Rabobank team.

Having spent a week protesting his innocence over a missed out-of-competition test, it appeared he had been caught giving false information about his whereabouts to the UCI.

It is believed that he was actually in Italy when he declared that he would be in Mexico. This is a contravention of the UCI’s regulations.

Now the Tour de France hangs by a thread.

Cycling has failed to listen to increasingly serious warnings, now desperate times call for desperate measures.

End it now. Tell everyone to pack up, go home, withhold the prize money and call this Tour void. After all, what value is victory to Alberto Contador.

Perhaps then cycling will take notice.