Monday, August 27, 2007

Bring us the head of Valverde.

It's probably fair to assume that given the attitude of various German personalities and institutions there has been some pressure on the UCI make sure the World Championships on September 30 are credible. Just like there was pressure to make the Tour and its winner a credible one - and what a great job they did of that! The World's are the UCI's biggest money spinner and with this assumption on hand one can wonder quite loudly as to why, now, Alejandro Valverde's head has been offered up by the UCI as the sacrificial lamb as part of what seems to be a never ending witch hunt where speculation and rumour increasingly seem to be the metronome of decision making.

It's pretty hard to find anything new in the Operacion Puerto documents now being shuttled around the continent. Nothing new has arisen since the first leak of documents in May 2006. In particular regarding Valverde there was in the first place some very scarce and ambiguous references. In May 2006 there was no clue sufficient for the RFEC, the UCI to include Valverde in the case. Valverde didn't even get to the stage of so many others - some who are still riding in both ProTour and Continental teams, Mancebo, Vicioso, Koldo Gil, Alan Davis, Sevilla ...; of having to go to the Spanish Courts and ask for a document stating that they had not been charge with anything. Of course no cyclist was ever charged with anything as the Operacion Puerto investigation was based around the importation, supply and prescription of illegally imported medicines from China. But the point was Valverde was never included in the list of the victims of this doping ring neither by the police nor by those who comb the reams of pages that made up the OP documents. Even the fact that the code names Valv-Piti appeared, and the mysterious bag of blood marked 18 wasn't enough for the investigating judge to call Valverde as a witness as he did for dozens of other riders.

According to sources close to the Spanish Federation in recent days they haven't found anything new, nothing to justify the opening of a case against Valverde and certainly not enough to suspend him. The view seems to be that there is no reason not to select the Green Bullet for Stuttgart, the race in which he has finished second in 2003 and 2005 and third in 2006. If these sources are right, and the Spanish don't toe the UCI party line we can expect yet another confrontation between cycling's would-be super powers to be played out as a background suite to La Vuelta. In the end it seems that this clash may come to find it's urgent venue in the TAS sometime between now and September 30. From Spain the UCI?s fight seems to be day by day, more a fight to keep certain sponsors on side, than a genuine fight against doping.

No comments:

Post a Comment