Cycling News Flash for June 29, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
More names released in Operación Puerto
Spanish newspaper El Pais has published more names among the 58 riders involved in Operación Puerto. The list, which comes from the Spanish Civil Guard's official report on the doping probe, contains several big names, and there is a strong possibility that the Tour de France could be raced with a very different list of favourites.
Cyclingnews sources say that Spanish authorities have obtained blood tests from last year's Tour and compared them to the names on this list in order to confirm the matches to the blood found in the blood bags.
El Pais has alleged that Jan Ullrich, Roberto Heras, Oscar Sevilla, Joseba Beloki, Santiago Botero, Santi Pérez, Tyler Hamilton, Quique Gutierrez and Angel Edo are all mentioned in the 500 page report that will be delivered to the Spanish Secretary of State for Sport, Jaime Lissavetsky. In addition, Spanish radio Cadena Ser mentions that Ivan Basso, Francisco Mancebo, while Dutch sources reported that Rabobank riders Denis Menchov and Juan-Antonio Flecha are on the list, but these were subsequently denied. In total, 22 riders scheduled to take part in the Tour de France are on the list of 58. All the riders questioned by journalists so far have denied any involvement in the affair.
Lissavetsky will fly to Strasbourg on Friday to meet French counterpart Jean-François Lamour to discuss the affair before the start of the Tour.
The names at the centre of the affair, which is being treated as a crime against public health, as Spain hasn't got its anti-doping law in place yet, are still the following five: Sports doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, haematologist José Luis Merino Batres; directeur sportif of Comunidad Valenciana, Ignacio Labarta; former team manager of Liberty Seguros, Manolo Saiz; and the former mountain biker Alberto León.
Astana-Würth OK to race
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has given the Astana-Wurth team the go-ahead to race in the Tour de France. "CAS has rejected the request of ASO to stop the team Astana-Würth from starting the Tour de France," read the CAS official statement.
On June 26, ASO, the organisers of the Tour, had asked Active Bay, the managing company of the Spanish squad, not to take part in its race. Both parties took their case to CAS, which heard it today (June 29) in the presence of ASO and Active Bay representatives.
CAS ruled that the team of Alexandre Vinokourov will be able to participate in the race. Belgian judge Guido de Croock decided the matter, basing his sentence on the fact that no official information on the team's links to the doping network had yet been revealed.
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya