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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for November 26, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

EPO blood bags attributed to code names

By Susan Westemeyer

Spanish investigators have put code names to the eight bags of blood seized in Operación Puerto which have been tested positive for excess for EPO, according to El Mundo. The bags were identified as belonging to the code names "Klaus", "Sevillian" or number five, "Gemma", "Mari", "Falla" and "Valv. Piti" (number 18). Two of the bags are believed to belong to "Sevillian", who some sources identify as Oscar Sevilla.

It had previously been reported that the Barcelona antidoping laboratory had detected the traces of EPO, but that the lab's report did not identify the riders involved.

According to, Judge Antonio Serrano will call some or all of the 58 cyclists who have been named in the investigation. The paper said that although doping is not punishable in Spain, perjury is illegal. If the riders denied in court that they had used doping substances and were then proven to have used them, they could then be prosecuted for perjury.

Contacted for a statement concerning Oscar Sevilla, T-Mobile spokesman Christian Frommert told Cyclingnews on Saturday: "We had and have a very clear line. We decided to suspend him and after that we cancelled his contract. It would not be surprising if it's true, but we don't know if it is so or not. We took our decision very early and on the basis of trust. We had no trust in the words of some riders. Now it's up to the Guardia Civil to find proof and handle the case."

Manzano accuses Saiz attorney

Former pro cyclist Jesus Manzano, who used to ride for Kelme-Costa Blanca and spoke of massive doping practices within the team after quitting the sport, has accused Manolo Saiz' legal representative, Carlos Bueren, of trying to buy his silence in the Operación Puerto affair. According to national newspaper El País, Manzano alleged that Bueren offered him between 25 and 30 million Pesetas (approx. 150,000-180,000 Euros) if he stopped bis involvement in the legal case. Bueren has not commented the allegations.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Confusion over Hamilton 'admission'

By Gregor Brown

Hamilton wins the 2004 Olympic TT
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

In an interesting turn of events, Tyler Hamilton has retracted his statement made Friday, November 24, in a team press release announcing his new contract with Tinkoff Credit Systems. The rider from Marblehead, Massachusetts was quoted in an official press release, written in Italian, as saying "Ho sbagliato e il prezzo che ho dovuto pagare è stato molto alto," or "I made a mistake and the price that I had to pay was very high." The statement, although not specific, seemed to hint that the 35 year-old was confessing to his 2004 positive test of doping via blood transfusions.

Shortly after the article appeared on Cyclingnews, we were contacted by the Tinkoff General Manager Stefano Feltrin who said that the team had made a mistake when translating Hamilton's words in the press release, which, along with our news website, had already been sent out to other major media outlets. Feltrin kindly noted that his newly signed cyclist wished the statement would be changed to "There have been mistakes and the price that I had to pay was very high."

Hamilton ran into trouble in late 2004 when controls at the Olympics and Vuelta a España showed positive for blood transfusions. He was allowed to keep his Olympic gold time trial medal when the second sample needed for testing was accidentally frozen but the positive findings for both the A and B samples in the Spanish tour meant the American faced a two-year ban.

Never confessing to any wrongdoing, Hamilton steadfastly refused the test results until Friday, when it appeared as though the cyclist was making an admission to doping. However, when the press release was clarified the cyclist's words became less than an 'admission.'

"In my opinion there needs to be more collaboration between the riders and the sport officials," said Hamilton to Cyclingnews when asked what needs to be done to help cycling's current doping problems. "The guilty until proven innocent mantra needs to stop. There are clear problems with the anti-doping system when you have results being leaked, computer systems allegedly being hacked into and athletes being prosecuted on the basis of conflicting or unsubstantiated data."

Look for a full feature by Cyclingnews with Tinkoff's Tyler Hamilton in the coming week.

First teams for Monteral-Boston to be announced soon

By Shane Stokes

An announcement will be made soon concerning the identities of the first of the big teams from Europe, the USA and South America for the new Montreal-Boston stage race, to be run from August 4-11, 2007.

The recently-announced 2.1 ranked event will begin in Montreal with four days of racing in Canada and then, after crossing the border, will spend a further four in the US as it continues south to Boston. Thirty teams of seven riders will take part, and both the Quebec Government and the Mayor of Boston have pledged their support.

The race will be organised by Daniel Manibel, who has much experience in running big events such as the Montreal round of the UCI women’s World Cup. He will be provided with general technical consultancy from the UK-based Events Group, who will also organise the Manchester round of the track World Cup in February as well as assist in the running of the Tour de Langkawi.

Events Group Managing Director Alan Rushton said that he was excited about the race. "We are delighted to be working on this new event," he stated, "and are looking forward to contributing to making this an international success. We are targeting a range of entries from the top European teams as well as those from the USA and South America."

More details will appear on Cyclingnews as they become available.

No Tour for Wrolich in 2007?

By Susan Westemeyer

Wrolich won a stage at the 2005 Tour de Georgia
Photo ©: Alicia Frese
Click for larger image

Gerolsteiner has concluded its three-day team meeting in Euskirchen, Germany. "It was a very good atmosphere," said Peter Wrolich. The new riders were introduced, and "There was a lot of interest in Bernhard Kohl. I'm glad that he is with us now, so that I won't be the only Austrian in the team after Totsch (Georg Totschnig) retired and Hasi (Rene Haselbacher) left us."

Wrolich further noted that he will probably follow a different schedule in the coming season, one which will most likely not include the Tour de France. "You have to prepare so exactly for this race, that you can forget the rest of the season. Until July, nothing matters but the Tour, then you ride through France for three weeks and after that your head is so empty you can't do anything. I want to concentrate again on my real strength, the one-day races, and plan more highlights for 2007."

Kopp looks for a better 2007

By Susan Westemeyer

Gerolsteiner's David Kopp had two major disappointments in his first season with the German team, but said, "I think everything equals out over time." After dropping out of the Tour de France and missing the World's, he is looking forward to trying both races again next year, he told the Bonner General Anzeiger newspaper.

His first disappointment came in the Tour, when he had to drop out only four days before the end of the race with a fever, but he remembers the good things more than the bad ones. "I took so much positive experiences from the Tour, even when it would have been nicer to reach Paris. In the extreme finishes I was able to really improve my sprinting ability." He also noted that "This year I was very close to a stage win two or three times. I now know that I am capable of winning a stage."

The bigger disappointment was missing the World Championships, because of a broken arm suffered in a crash only two weeks before the event. "Those are the shittiest moments in a cyclist's career. In the meantime it's okay again. I didn't train for six weeks and started training again in the beginning of November - for next year."

Serrano will lead Karpin Galicia

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Marcos Serrano has finally reached a contractual agreement with the Karpin Galicia squad for the next two seasons. After signing his contract, Serrano stressed that he did not feel the necessity "to wash my public and sporting image" from his supposed implication in Operación Puerto, "because I do not have any pending case with justice." While not naming names, Serrano accused some media "to have created a novel." The Spaniard, who has raced in Manolo Saiz's team, reiterated that, "I believe in my innocence."

Serrano thanked the team for its confidence in him. The local cyclist, who gained a stage in the Tour de France in 2005, does not think that at his age of 34 years will prevent him from being a leader. "If I could win a stage in the Tour at 33 years, why not now?," Serrano concluded.

Fran Pérez breaks bones

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Francisco Pérez has suffered a cycling accident. The Spanish Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears rider fractured his collarbone and three ribs while training on his mountainbike in the Carrascoy mountain, near Murcia, where he lives. Pérez was riding in company of Luis León Sánchez (Astana), who immediately called for emergency assistance. The Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears rider lost the control of his bike while riding downhill at great speed.

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