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Cancellara denies Dr. Fuentes links

By:
Barry Ryan
Published:
February 8, 2013, 16:06,
Updated:
February 8, 2013, 16:17
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, February 9, 2013
Race:
Tour of Qatar, Stage 6
Fabian Cancellara sports the new, 2013 RadioShack Leopard kit at the team presentation.

Fabian Cancellara sports the new, 2013 RadioShack Leopard kit at the team presentation.

  • Fabian Cancellara sports the new, 2013 RadioShack Leopard kit at the team presentation.
  • Tour de France prologue winner Fabian Cancellara resplendent in yellow at the start of the first road stage.
  • Fabian Cancellara leads the way at Gent-Wevelgem
  • Fabian Cancellara prepares for another training ride in Spain

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Swiss rider reacts to Hamilton interview

Fabian Cancellara has denied that he was a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, refuting speculation that he was the individual listed as "Luigi" in files seized by Spanish police in 2006 as part of the Operacion Puerto blood doping investigation.

The recent online innuendo concerning Cancellara stemmed from an interview that Tyler Hamilton gave to Cyclingnews on Wednesday, in which he recalled a clash at the 2008 Tour of California between the Rock Racing Team and a rider known as "Luigi" in the Puerto files. Hamilton did not divulge the rider's identity, but speculation quickly spread on social media that he may have been referring to Cancellara.

Speaking to reporters before the final stage of the Tour of Qatar, Cancellara said that he was bemused by the matter and refuted the allegation. "We don't know from where the connection is coming. I mean, I remember in 2008 I already said everything there is to say, and now a few years later something gets turned on. I don't know if it comes from Hamilton or not, and it looks like everyone is believing what Hamilton is saying."

Hamilton and his Rock Racing teammates Santiago Botero and Oscar Sevilla had been barred from participating in the 2008 Tour of Calfornia but rode ahead of the caravan during the race. In his Cyclingnews interview, Hamilton recalled how a prominent rider had been vocal in his opposition to their actions, and he said a group of his Rock Racing teammates had subsequently heckled the rider, calling him "Luigi," his purported Puerto codename.

On Friday, Cancellara said that while he had voiced his disapproval of Hamilton, Botero and Sevilla's actions, he had not been subjected to intimidation by Rock Racing riders during the race.

"No. I had not even heard about this Luigi stuff," Cancellara said. "What I remember is that when there was Rock Racing, there was Sevilla, Hamilton and Botero and for the whole world, it was pretty crazy. I was against it because you ride your ass off and you still have open cases or cases that are going on, and I remember those situations. But it's 2013 now and that was 2008."

In his 2012 autobiography, The Secret Race, Hamilton admitted to blood doping under the supervision of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes on Bjarne Riis’ recommendation while riding for the CSC squad. He was also coached by Dr. Luigi Cecchini during his time at CSC, before leaving the team to join Phonak in 2004. Cancellara arrived at CSC in 2006 and said that, like Hamilton, he was coached by Dr. Luigi Cecchini while at the team, but he insisted that the relationship “was all about training performance and not doping performance.”

Asked if the speculation of the last 48 hours had affected him, Cancellara shrugged as he pinned on his dossard for the final stage of the Tour of Qatar. "I have to stay unaffected," he said. "[In some way] it affects me but just because it makes me angry that something like that came out. That's what affects me more than the rest. I have more to do tomorrow than just seeing news about this Clasicomano Luigi. There are so many names. It's [similar] with Alberto, they say 'ah, AC is Alberto Contador' and I mean in the end, it's definitely not my problem."

Earlier in the week, Cancellara had expressed his desire that cycling "turn the page" rather than confront the recent past, and on Friday he described the current climate of allegation and confession as "a weird world."

"Hamilton even makes money now with his book," Cancellara said. "The most important thing is that everyone has to clean the shit in front of his house first and then he can talk about other things."

Heinz Doofenshmirtz More than 1 year ago
Just come clean already Luigi - since everyone else is and/or has too! We know you didn't have a motor in your bike.
generic More than 1 year ago
Have you seen the way this doping lying cheat climbs! Cancellara is just like the rest of them.
whatever More than 1 year ago
Cancellara doesn't climb all that well. He's too big. He's a time trial specialist.
Vegan Dave More than 1 year ago
Hey Cancellara , why not put all concerns to rest and submit your DNA for comparison with 'Luigi's' blood?
BobAli More than 1 year ago
This is definately the only real way to clear your name (and let's face it there are about 180 odd others who should be in the same situation!)
runninboy More than 1 year ago
exactly right. When you are accused of something like this there is an easy way to end the speculation. I had a car stolen and when it was found down the hill from my house the police accused me of driving drunk, crashing the car and reporting it stolen the next morning. I laughed at them as i popped the hood and showed them the car had half the engine missing, as i was in the process of restoring it. When a simple solution is available and someone does not take advantage of it, it kind of gives more weight to the allegation.
Bob Thomson More than 1 year ago
Mapei, Fassa, CSC......uh, yeah.
djconnel More than 1 year ago
I think it's highly likely Cancellara has "a history" as Vaughters put it. Consider stage 17 of the 2007 Tour: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2008/tour08/?id=results/tour0817 "With the start of the climb over, O'Grady had done his work. Cancellara took over for CSC and the gap started to drop. He set a terrible pace, catching and dropping Di Gregorio and putting the sprinters off the back. Even white jersey contenders Nibali and Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) gave up the ghost. Jimmy Casper (Agritubel) had been dropped early in the stage and was now 18 minutes behind and nearly assured of being time cut." So Cancellara drops Nibali on the climb. Could happen.
djconnel More than 1 year ago
I think it's highly likely Cancellara has "a history" as Vaughters put it. Consider stage 17 of the 2007 Tour: "With the start of the climb over, O'Grady had done his work. Cancellara took over for CSC and the gap started to drop. He set a terrible pace, catching and dropping Di Gregorio and putting the sprinters off the back. Even white jersey contenders Nibali and Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) gave up the ghost. Jimmy Casper (Agritubel) had been dropped early in the stage and was now 18 minutes behind and nearly assured of being time cut." So Cancellara drops Nibali on the climb. Could happen.
Al Lesklar More than 1 year ago
CN's report for stage 17 doesn't contain that citation. But it does show Cancellara finishing 139/141, 10 minutes down,.. http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-de-france-2007/stage-17/results
tralala More than 1 year ago
that's not relevant by any means as the guy has a lot of strenght. he was setting a high tempo for a short period of time, whereas nibali had to pace himself to the end of the stage. if he would have done that and won,what you said would be true but check the results, he prolly came 20mins behind nibali the same stage
Dr.JSW More than 1 year ago
You sure you have the right stage and year? For stage 17 in 2007 I don't see O'Grady or Nibali and Spartacus came in #139 down ten minutes and eight seconds. Or maybe I'm cross-eyed or drunk or can't type tonight. http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-de-france-2007/stage-17/results Now in 2008, stage 17, it was the Alp. Nibali finished down 17:21, Cancellara down 22:13, Monfort in a group at 24:18, Voigt down 28:02. Hey, Zabel was 17:10, right in front of Nibali. What a hoot. Grady was the conductor of the autobus at 38:00. http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-de-france-2008/stage-17/results
reubenr More than 1 year ago
When you have to prove your innocence, there is no end to the task. I do not see why any active rider would want to admit past blood doping, if they have not been caught to date. Who would be left? What I want to see is that the testing procedures have changed and people are now riding clean. I have always respected Cancellara, and it wouldn't be the end of the world for me, if at a later date, he was proven to have cheated in the past. I wouldn't think highly of him any longer, but I am more concerned about what he does today.
Lamby101 More than 1 year ago
"When you have to prove your innocence, there is no end to the task" Nope, easy - submit some dna to compare against the bags they have. Would pretty much 100% clear his name.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Really...Surprise, Surprise, and Surprise People we must move on and get past the cover of deceit…this is a business of sport entertainment. Most Americans are still watching Football (NFL) regardless of the player’s personal misconduct and indiscretions of drugs and PED’s. The one thing people must not forget…there is a huge difference in talent between a weekend worrier and the elite athlete. Statically speaking your odds of becoming an astronaut is better than becoming a professional athlete. And only 2% of professional athletes are the likes of Jordan, Armstrong and Phelps, Cancellara…etc. Just saying…with or without PED’s these guys are the best of the rest. I don’t condone the use of PED’s but how do you stop it when you have the backing of big business. Oh...remember most top level athletes have no formal education.
rainwatrz More than 1 year ago
Bravo!
matt osborn More than 1 year ago
Statically speaking your odds of becoming an astronaut is better than becoming a professional athlete. And only 2% of professional athletes are the likes of Jordan, Armstrong and Phelps, Cancellara…etc. Not true, are you really trying to tell me there are more astronauts in the world than Professional athletes?
BadScreenWrtr More than 1 year ago
Yes technically there are more astronauts than pro athletes; lots of people and cows have gone into space after being abducted by aliens. ))
Strydz More than 1 year ago
Your argument simply doesn't wah buddy, comparing Astronauts and Pro athletes is just silly and I think you know that. If we are talking about sports entertainment then why can't a clean sport be just as exciting? Who cares if they go a few k's slower? There will still be long range solo attacks in the mountains and tight shoulder to shoulder sprinting.
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Agree, we wouldn't be able to discern between a peloton averaging 45 to one averaging 42 on a stage.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Serious question .... (seriously) .... would the GTs have to be considerably easier on the body (fewer meters climbed, shorter stages, fewer stages) in order to convince all riders that "this is do-able, win-able without juice?"
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
I think it's a valid question. "Why do they/we need to ride 230kms for a bunch sprint?" Can't remember where I read/heard that or if I've quoted 100% accurately, but that was certainly the guist of it. I think that shortening stages is well worth looking at. Look at stage 19 of the 2011 Tour to Alpe d'Huez, only about 110kms but it was a gripping stage (imo). I'm not saying that every stage should be run at 110kms, but if stages were reduced a little, 15-20kms per day (around 400kms over three weeks) it can help ? Even if it's only rider perception ? And really as a viewer what would we lose ? The coverage normally starts an hour or two in, and the first few hours of a long flat stage can often be quite uneventful. More condensed stages might also offer more action ? At times I feel cycling can be a little formulaic, break goes early, left out there until as late as possible, bunch sprint/final climb. A little more unpredictability would be cool (I concede shortening stages will not guarantee less predictable racing). I'd still want a GT to be seen as a big challenge, but agree with the do-able/win-able without juice sentiment.
runninboy More than 1 year ago
Not needed. In the pre epo days the field would not go from the gun. The racing only started later in the stage. So a committed rider could go early and succeed. That made the races more unpredictable & fun. When will the bunch start racing? Will they have enough time to make the catch? Considering non pros often pre ride the stages i don't think altering the stages is neccessary. In fact if you shorten them, guys might be more inclined to go hard from the gun making the racing harder.
the vagabond More than 1 year ago
You really lose your credibility when you start repeating complete nonsense that your third grade student teacher told you that anybody with a double digit IQ can see is not true, the garbage about astronauts and pro athletes. . .
Billy Nunya More than 1 year ago
Let he without sin cast the first stone. I'm betting not too many stone would be flying around the peloton.
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
If there was/is a widespread doping problem, all the more reason to relentless in getting to the truth, and cleaning cycling up.
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
to be relentless
mikeelmer More than 1 year ago
Yea, it is 2013 and the Puerto cases are STILL open!