May 31, 2010
The Gusev case – makes a good case for transparency but misses a few key points, like Valverde’s DNA
And then there’s Valverde. Yes, he is being pursued where others implicated in Operacion Puerto ride on, case close. But not everyone is convinced of his non-involvement and, unlike other riders his DNA (taken by Italian authorities from a test during a stage of Le Tour that visited Italy) is available and has been (allegedly) positively linked to DNA found in blood collected from Operacion Puerto. Whilst I’d like to see every rider who was implicated in Puerto give up their DNA for matching, it’s only the Italian authorities who have the motivation and the determination to see this through. Should we criticise them for this apparent vendetta or celebrate their perseverance?
Bottom line is that we need transparency and clear evidence of fairness in the process. At the moment it’s a dog’s breakfast. That at least is certainly clear.
Martin Hardie views the Gusev case is yet another example of the tendency which has bothered riders, managers and cycle reporters for a long time: It reveals that some riders can do anything without being punished and other riders are being punished even if they are acquitted.
For example, the International Cycling Union works actively at expanding the prohibition to the whole world which the Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde has recieved against riding in Italy. Valverde was allegedly involved in the case of blood doping known as Operation Puerto in 2006, but he has never been banned by the Spanish Cycling Union. However his compatriot Contador who has worked for Bruyneel until recently whose his initials allegedly were found on some of the many blood bags in 2006 is still free to ride. UCI is not running any campaign against him nor are they pursuing Fränk Schleck from Bjarne Riis’ CSC Team although he also was in involved in Operacion Puerto because he send money to the doctor who is charged with running the illegal program.