Operación Puerto News for July 3, 2006
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Ullrich, Basso risk four years - life-long ban for Hamilton?
UCI president Pat McQuaid, who was at the Tour de France start in Strasbourg
this weekend, said that the procedures to sanction the riders linked to
incriminated Dr Fuentes were going to start soon. "The Spanish judicial
authorities don't have to investigate further concerning these riders,"
he said. "As of now, the investigation will go ahead concerning Fuentes,
Manolo Saiz and the other persons who were taken into custody at the beginning
of the affair. We have received the first dossier of about 50 pages from
the Spanish court, and a sanction will be following soon. We are only
waiting for the whole dossier, maybe another 300 pages - then the cycling
federation can start the procedure."
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McQuaid added that the translation of the Spanish documents would take
another two weeks for the UCI to perform, but that once this was done,
the German, Italian, Portuguese and Australian federations, and "all
the other federations concerned" would be notified. "The fate of
Ullrich, Basso and co. will be in the hands of their federations," he
continued. "The punishment according to the Ethical Charter can be up
to four years for ProTour riders and two years for the others. If the
sanctions of the national federations do not satisfy us at the UCI, we
will appeal them at the CAS."
However, McQuaid did not evoke retroactive sanctions, meaning that Ivan
Basso and Jan Ullrich will keep their Giro d'Italia and Tour de Suisse
Tyler Hamilton, however could face a life-long ban, as the Spanish Anti-Doping
brigade has sent a 300-page thick report to the UCI yesterday. "If
he is guilty, it would be Tyler Hamilton's second doping offence,"
the UCI president added, as the Fuentes files dealing with Hamilton referred
to alleged doping practices in 2002-2003. "That could mean a life-long
Vino to take over Astana
Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana-Wurth)
Photo ©: AFP
Alexandre Vinokourov, who some describe as 'collateral damage' of the
Operación Puerto affair at the Tour de France, is not giving up.
Speaking to L'Equipe, the 32 year-old said that he had plans to
"take over the team [of Manolo Saiz] completely on the long run. This
is going to be our team," Vinokourov said, meaning that he wanted to make
it a Kazakh outfit altogether.
The sponsors of his home country want to buy the team of its current
Spanish managers. "Two years from now, I will probably be directeur sportif
of the team," said 'Vino'. "We made a mistake in the beginning of June,
when Astana became the new sponsor for Liberty Seguros. We should have
bought the company shares from Saiz then - that would have been the only
thing to save the team at the start in Strasbourg. But I couldn't think
straight at the time; I had to prepare myself for the Tour!"
On Saiz, Vinokourov said, "I don't want to judge before having all the
information, but I understand better now that there was a kind of war
between him and the Tour organisers. He has to retire from the sport now;
he has to disappear, we shouldn't see him anymore altogether. Maybe he
can find happiness working in a small cycling shop."
The Kazakhstani hasn't given up in his own future though - he wants
to have another go at the Tour de France next year. "It was perhaps my
last chance to win the Tour, and they stole it from me," added Vinokourov.
"It was hard; we hoped for a salvation gesture from the Tour until the
very last minute. Now I'm very tired." He will take a two-weeks break,
before preparing to for the World Championships in Salzburg. "But I still
think that I might have a chance on a Tour win next year. I'll be back,
that's for sure."
Contador: "I practiced clean cycling"
By Antonio J. Salmerón
Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros-Würth)
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
In an open letter to cycling fans, Alberto Contador has refuted the recent
allegations linking him to Spanish Dr Fuentes. The young talent insisted
on remembering that two years ago, when he was participating in the Vuelta
a Asturias, "you helped me to overcome a very hard experience, which put
my personal and professional life in danger, and more recently, I shared
with you my triumphs obtained in 2005."
Contador wrote that he was thankful for the attention that the cycling
fans showed him, "and for all that, and because you encouraged me with
your shouts, or with my name printed on the roads, I feel in the obligation
of showing you how I feel. At the moment, I'm sad, disappointed, powerless."
But Contador added that, "Life has shown me that experiences, that at
first sight seem harmful and unpleasant to us, can always result in highly
positive lessons for us.
"I am convinced that my future professional and personal life will
be marked by what happened these days, but I will continue working, possibly
with even more devotion - if that's possible - to make you experience
this beautiful sport and to hear you say once again that you believe in
it and in me. So, to all those youngsters who begin in cycling, I want
you to share something with me: YOU MAKE OF CYCLING A SPORT ADMIRED BY
ALL. And because I believe in a clean sport, AS I HAVE PRACTICED IT, we
will collect the result of our efforts in a few years."
Comunidad Valenciana lost sponsorship
By Antonio J. Salmerón
According to the Sunday edition of the Spanish newspaper Levante,
"the council of the Valencian government will draw back the sponsorship
of the Comunidad Valenciana professional cycling team as a consequence
of its implication in the anti-doping affair." The political decision
may have been taken last Friday by the Culture and Sport counselor, Alejandro
Font de Mora, and the Sport secretary of this region, David Serra, "after
the scandalous consequences of Operación Puerto."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
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May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
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complete coverage of Operación Puerto
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)