(CNN)Italian cyclist Ivan Basso has been ruled out of the Tour de France halfway through the competition after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The 37-year-old, who races for Russian-owned Tinkoff-Saxo as a teammate of former champion Alberto Contador, announced his withdrawal during an emotional press conference on Monday, shortly after receiving the diagnosis from a doctor.
"For a few days I felt a small pain," he said in Pau, France, the site of the tour's first rest day. "Yesterday our doctor spoke with the doctor of the Tour and we decided to go to make a special analysis to the hospital."
"The examination gave me bad news; I have a small cancer in the left testicle," he said.