By Antonio J. Salmerón
"Spanish cycling, like the entire cycling world, lives in a dark moment. The problem of the doping is old, and in this sense, cycling has ten years of advantage on the rest of sports' fight against doping. However, this it is not sufficient. The Tour de France organization is trying to find solutions as soon as possible, although at the moment it has only been partial," said ASO President Patrice Clerc to Spanish daily newspaper AS.
Alejandro Valverde is allegedly part of the Operación Puerto investigation. The Frenchman was asked if he thinks that Valverde is going to be able to take part in the next Tour. "This decision depends on Caisse d'Epargne because Valverde is not officially implicated in Operación Puerto. The thing that we want to clarify, and the sponsors should understand it, is that we cannot take any more risks... "
All riders are under suspicion," Clerc continued when asked if Valverde is a suspect. "Any cyclist's feat can be put to judgment...we have arrived at such an extreme."
The 2006 Tour de France suffered dearly from the post-race news of Floyd Landis' positive result for testosterone and the winner of that edition remains in doubt. "What is clear it is that Floyd Landis did not win it, at least for the Tour organization. ... But the UCI has yet to remove his title, and I suppose that Landis is going to go to all the courts he can to defend himself."
The 2007 Tour de France departs from London July 7.