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Valverde faces CONI hearing, court inquiry
By Agence France Presse
Posted Feb. 19, 2009
Valverde will be answering CONI's questions on Thursday.

Anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri said Thursday that a blood sample found in the laboratory central to the Operación Puerto scandal belongs to Alejandro Valverde.

Torri made his claim following a hearing attended by the Spanish rider at the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in Rome. Upon Valverde’s arrival, the public prosecutor's office in Rome announced its own investigation into his actions.

"We can say with certitude that the blood in bag number 18 belongs to Valverde," Torri said at a press conference following the Operación Puerto-related doping hearing. "We are confident that we are qualified to deal with this case and that we also have the jurisdiction to deal with foreign athletes.”

Torri said Valverde's case is identical to that of Ivan Basso, who was suspended for two years in 2006 after his blood was found in Fuentes' laboratory. Basso has since returned to racing and is riding with the Liquigas squad in the Amgen Tour of California.

"We have documents referring to Valverde both for sums paid to (Dr. Eufemiano) Fuentes and for the substances,” Torri said. "However, these documents require interpretation. For now, though, we haven't examined the possibility of a precautionary suspension for Valverde. His lawyers have two weeks to prepare the defense case."

The summons related to a sample given by Valverde on July 21 during the 2008 Tour de France after a stage in Italy.

Italian news agency ANSA reported that DNA tests on this sample matched those of blood samples seized from the laboratory of Fuentes, the central figure in the Puerto scandal.

Valverde did not fail any dope tests during the Tour.

His hearing had been delayed twice, but on Thursday he arrived at a rear entrance surrounded by carabinieri, the federal police force, and accompanied by two lawyers, manager Antonio Sanchez and Caisse D'Epargne sports director Eusebio Unzue.

The hearing had most recently been delayed due to the objections of a Spanish court, which on Wednesday argued that the blood samples held by the Spanish justice system could not be used on another case in another country.

However, CONI's anti-doping section called the objections groundless and insisted on interviewing Valverde, who claims to be attending as a gesture of goodwill in order to clear his name.

Valverde is also the subject of an open case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after Spanish authorities washed their hands of the Puerto affair.

Torri said that Valverde would not be summonsed again, but added that others could be.

"If one refuses to answer there's no point in returning," he said. "There's another 90 bags of blood and not just those of cyclists."

Valverde's Italian lawyer, Federico Cecconi, said that his client had nothing to worry about.

"Alejandro Valverde says that he's innocent," he said.
 

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Shirtcocker
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I choose to assume they all dope--it's easier that way.
 

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Where is the outrage? Why is nobody complaining about chain of custody, retro testing, lab issues etc? Why isn't anyone calling La Gazzetta a tabloid?

I guess the crazy conspiracy theories are only believed if they help a certain doper....errr rider
 

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Will the Giro cook their golden goose?

Utah CragHopper said:
Valverde's goose is cooked. At some point the UCI will have to throw him under the bus or it risks even more damage to its reputation than the refusal to test for CERA did.

Frank Schleck is sleeping in a pool of sweat these days.

If there is any truth to the rumors that Haven Hamilton was obtaining dope from Fuentes not just for Tyle but also for Armstrong then a certain rider might not want to give blood at the Giro; it could possibly be matched to the "cowboy" bags.

Why would the Giro cook their golden goose? Won't they be the beneficiaries of the massive increase in coverage now that LA is riding? I am not sure they would be too into busting LA now that he is their biggest booster. That's the saddest part, too many people making too much dough off Big Tex for anyone to want to bust him.
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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Utah CragHopper said:
Where's Broward when you need him? Time for the Trust But Never Verify website to get back on the job. After their last doper went down in flames, flames that were made much larger by them egging him on to his inevitable doom, they are in dire need of another hopeless cause.

Someone with web skillz set up the Schumacher Straight Shooter Slush Fund.
Honestly, I think Valverde's case is sh*t. CONI shouldn't have any access to the blood and shouldn't have any jurisdiction.
 

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iliveonnitro said:
Honestly, I think Valverde's case is sh*t. CONI shouldn't have any access to the blood and shouldn't have any jurisdiction.
The Italians have a pretty good case that a crime was committed in Italy (Sporting Fraud). Cross boarder assistance is common in criminal cases, why not this one? CONI is able to ban riders from Italian races so they have jurisdiction over those races.

It is good to see that someone is taking Puerto seriously. The Spanish Fed and the UCI have done their best to ignore the issue and pretend there is no problem.
 

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Dweebus Maximus
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+1.

The Italians saw their golden boy Basso go down (rightfully so), plus gave a rap to other huge stars like Di Luca and Petacchi. To add insult to injury, Ricco gets busted badly by AFLD last year.

Who has Spain given up? Iban Mayo??? Aside from a couple of brief flashes the guy barely won anything.

This is revenge, plain and simple, for Spain's refusal to reciprocate. Italy is out for blood now (pardon the pun).

Utah CragHopper said:
It is not the Giro organizers that are doing this. It is CONI. My guess is that the Italians are miffed that they have made an effort to fight doping and have sanctioned riders. Meanwhile the Spanish have given a free pass to their riders, and now their riders are winning everything. The Italians want a little balance, so they are taking the opportunity to give the Spanish a black eye.

Assuming the stories that CONI obtained DNA profiles of all blood bags are true (I don't know if it is; there appears some confusion about how and even if CONI has DNA matched Valverde to the Puerto blood.) then CONI might cross check the Puerto blood against a large group of riders. Who knows what such a matching game might turn up.
 

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Utah CragHopper said:
If there is any truth to the rumors that Haven Hamilton was obtaining dope from Fuentes not just for Tyle but also for Armstrong then a certain rider might not want to give blood at the Giro; it could possibly be matched to the "cowboy" bags.

- Interesting. Never heard this one.

Playing devil's advocate here : "If" Armstrong was paying Ferrari all that money, all those years, why would a guy as controling and as precise as Armstrong want/need more dope from another doctor he's never seen/been linked to through another rider???
 

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DMFT said:
- Interesting. Never heard this one.

Playing devil's advocate here : "If" Armstrong was paying Ferrari all that money, all those years, why would a guy as controling and as precise as Armstrong want/need more dope from another doctor he's never seen/been linked to through another rider???
"Cowboy" is not supposed to be Armstrong but a European rider with American parent (IIRC, Sven Montgomery?). Plus why would Armstrong use Fuentes? In all probability Postal/Discovery had their own racket going, likely with very competent ex-ONCE docs that Bruyneel brought on board (e.g. Aramendi). Also I don't believe Ferrari was ever fingered as a dope doc per se, but rather as the guy who told you how to dope, i.e. when to take what to avoid detection and maximize performance. Almost a consultant rather than the guy actually doing the dirty work.

Let's think about it. Why was Saiz using Fuentes for Liberty Seguroes when we know there was orgained team doping at ONCE. Fuentes was Kelme's doping doc not ONCE's. Why did Bruyneel bring those guys to Postal? Once most teams stopped organizing doping themsevles, no doubt that prompted guys like Fuentes work independently and start taking all-comers. Why was Ullrich using him? Most likely because he couldn't access his old suppliers (Freiberg Clinic) once he was no longer with Telekom/T-mobile. What about Hamilton? Probably similar deal.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
"Cowboy" is not supposed to be Armstrong but a European rider with American parent (IIRC, Sven Montgomery?). Plus why would Armstrong use Fuentes? In all probability Postal/Discovery had their own racket going, likely with very competent ex-ONCE docs that Bruyneel brought on board (e.g. Aramendi). Also I don't believe Ferrari was ever fingered as a dope doc per se, but rather as the guy who told you how to dope, i.e. when to take what to avoid detection and maximize performance. Almost a consultant rather than the guy actually doing the dirty work.

Let's think about it. Why was Saiz using Fuentes for Liberty Seguroes when we know there was orgained team doping at ONCE. Fuentes was Kelme's doping doc not ONCE's. Why did Bruyneel bring those guys to Postal? Once most teams stopped organizing doping themsevles, no doubt that prompted guys like Fuentes work independently and start taking all-comers. Why was Ullrich using him? Most likely because he couldn't access his old suppliers (Freiberg Clinic) once he was no longer with Telekom/T-mobile. What about Hamilton? Probably similar deal.
Fuentes worked for Once too. "Cowboy" is the Spanish mountain biker who shoots his guns for a victory salute. Jose Hermida does the cowboy and Juan Flecha does the indian.
 

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yup...

Dwayne Barry said:
"Cowboy" is not supposed to be Armstrong but a European rider with American parent (IIRC, Sven Montgomery?). Plus why would Armstrong use Fuentes? In all probability Postal/Discovery had their own racket going, likely with very competent ex-ONCE docs that Bruyneel brought on board (e.g. Aramendi). Also I don't believe Ferrari was ever fingered as a dope doc per se, but rather as the guy who told you how to dope, i.e. when to take what to avoid detection and maximize performance. Almost a consultant rather than the guy actually doing the dirty work.

Let's think about it. Why was Saiz using Fuentes for Liberty Seguroes when we know there was orgained team doping at ONCE. Fuentes was Kelme's doping doc not ONCE's. Why did Bruyneel bring those guys to Postal? Once most teams stopped organizing doping themsevles, no doubt that prompted guys like Fuentes work independently and start taking all-comers. Why was Ullrich using him? Most likely because he couldn't access his old suppliers (Freiberg Clinic) once he was no longer with Telekom/T-mobile. What about Hamilton? Probably similar deal.
58 riders with Blood at Puerto - looks like 2 whole teams + some free agents like Tyler and Jan or one whole team and a lot of free agents - theory works for me.

Nik
 

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JulianT said:
Fuentes worked for Once too. "Cowboy" is the Spanish mountain biker who shoots his guns for a victory salute. Jose Hermida does the cowboy and Juan Flecha does the indian.
Doesn't Contador shoot his guns too?
 

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Dweebus Maximus
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iliveonnitro said:
Wait, how do you know 58 were cyclists? Last I heard, the vast majority were from football.
200 - 58 = 142. That's still lots of room for the majority to be footballers. Doesn't change the numbers for cycling.
 

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I mean what a sport we all follow...the corruption knows no bounds.
My interest is hanging by a thread. If Valverde is allowed ride on, then Basso (whom I consider a lying cheat) has been seriously hard done by.
SwiftSolo and the like will be out in numbers defending Valverde of course. Prosecuted by a 'tabloid' etc. The journalist in question must have obviously taken a syringe of Valverde's blood and put it in Fuentes' clinic. And then we will be asked to provide 'real' evidence that Valverde doped!!! Unbe-f***ing-lievable.
Although in fairness maybe I'm being a bit harsh here. Because, as BigPinkt pointed out, the anti-American sentiment, the jealousy, the pathetic whine of the perpetual loser, only ever becomes evident when Americans are involved - when the likes of Vino et al are done, the testing procedures are seen as being exemplary in stamping out the cheats. For example, Lance praised the infamous Lab in question for their integrity and honesty, only one year before the Floyd case.
Valverde still protests his innocence...amazingly...because to me, having your blood bag in a doping clinic, with EPO in the bag, is pretty difficult to get out of...although Lance worked with the most well known doping doctor in cycling for ten years in order to carry out fat percentage tests, so you'd never know!!!
To the people who talk about the other sports not doing enough to uncover the truth in relation to Operation Puerto, 'two wrongs don't make a right', springs to mind. It is not relevant to the state cycling is currently in, and to talk of other sports is to borrow the words of the wonderful UCI head man, Pat Muppet McQuaid - i.e. a doping apologist.

In all honesty, I couldn't give a crap what people on this fourm level at me about my views. This year's Tour de France will be won by an Astana rider - one way or the other. And this in turn means that the rider will be doped. And if people cling to the belief that Bruyneel is some kind of 'clean' DS, (nonsensical, but anyway) look at the performances of Yaroslav in comparison to his time with Lotto. So yeah, I couldn't care less any more. I believe half of the CSC team were doped in 2008. ASO are not doing the testing, so with the UCI in charge, the riders will be able to inject themselves at doping control, and still not get caught. The blood passports, even if they eventually do become a reality, are obviously very flawed and open to appeal. Damsgaard has spoken about all the abnormal tests from last year's Tour, yet they fall just short of prosecution, because they guidelines in proving a positive, through a doping test, are so stringent. The burden of proof is far too high in sporting cases, in comparison to a normal court of law.
Lance tells a guy he's not worth the chair he's sitting on, and pushes another guy into the snow, all in the space of a week, yet is still seen as a Cancer hero. Meanwhile Greg Lemond questions Lance about doping, and is seen as unstable and an alcoholic. Witness statements, whilst deemed effective enough to send a person to prison for life, are not deemed safe enough when it comes to Lance.
As I type, I look to my right and see Frank Schleck with his arms in the air. CyclingNews has Ivan Basso's diary, as well as an interview with Pozzato, Levi has won his third TOC, with Ferrari as his body fat percentage advisor - what a sport.

I hoped to see Cadel winning the Tour before he finished up, simply because I hoped he was clean. But the sad part about it is that I'm not sure I can believe in him either - any person with links to Ferrari. In the updated version of a A Rough Ride, Kimmage talks about wanting to write a 10,000 word Prologue about how the UCI got the champion it deserved in Lance Armstrong. I think they all deserve each other, because you have guys like Vaughters still not prepared to spit in the soup and who shamelessly pleaded ignorance to that IM converation. And he is meant to be one of the leaders in bringing about a cleaner sport. I ask anyone to look at the winners of the three grand Tour over the past 18 years or so, and say who they feel sure is clean. I love Paul Kimmage, but there was a time about ten years ago when I thought that even he was a bit too sceptical. On the contrary, now, I believe he is and was an idealist and a romantic, who has been let down too many times by these great 'champions'. His favourite moment of the 2008 Tour was Kohl collapsing over the line on the Alpe d'Huez stage - let down by a doper, as all the genuine fans have been at some stage.

What a sport...........
 

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I hoped to see Cadel winning the Tour before he finished up, simply because I hoped he was clean. But the sad part about it is that I'm not sure I can believe in him either - any person with links to Ferrari
That's interesting. Do you have a link?

BTW, good post!
 

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ultimobici said:
That's interesting. Do you have a link?

BTW, good post!
Thank you.

The story about Cadel and Ferrari broke during the 2007 Tour involving Rasmussen.
For the sake of brevity, just google Cadel, Michele Ferrari and 'training plans' - and you'll even find an article on an Australian website alluding to the link. It originally seemed to break on a German news channel.
 
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