Sunday, February 8, 2009

Operacion Puerto says cyclists have not defrauded sponsors

A quote from last year's Spanish Court decision to re open Puerto regarding the CPA's claim that cyclists had engaged in fraud against their sponsors etc:

"When it is notorious that for many years there has been talk of irregular practices, when there have been cyclists who have died from the consumption of drugs, frequent disqualifications and sanctions, when cycling is the mirror which other sports look into with fear, when it is known that the caravans and logistic premises of cycling teams have been searched for stimulants, when random controls are necessary after each race or stage, and the cycling teams have their own specialist doctors, to affirm that the cyclists have defrauded those who have contracted them is to close one's eyes to reality. When there is no accord regarding those practices, which bring them substantial benefits as a result of associating their brand name with the glory of victory of a famous cyclist, there exists, at least, on the party of those contracting with the cyclists, a deliberate ignorance, a “I don´t want to know” attitude, incompatible with the idea of serious fraud.

Additionally, it is very significant that despite the publicity given to this prosecution, no professional cycling team nor any brand name advertised by cyclists have intervened in the proceedings. Perhaps, in other sports fields and geographical environments where sportspersons are paid to be a model for young people, such kind of practices can be considered as deceitful, and even then, they may not fit within the fraud concept held by Spanish legislation. Under the Spanish law, it does not seem to be an offense at all except in the roundabout hypothesis of the appellants."

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