By Antonio J. Salmerón
Víctor Cordero, the general director of the Vuelta a España, responded to rumours that Alejandro Valverde would be excluded from the Tour de France on Sunday, telling Cyclingnews, "It is not true. The Tour de France organising has not said anything. I understand what the Tour de France organising is demanding to Caisse d'Epargne: to make clear who is linked to the Operación Puerto, according to the well-known code of ethics that all of us in cycling agreed to sign."
Not long ago, the Vuelta a España organising member expressed its desire that the Spaniard from Caisse d'Epargne return to dispute the Vuelta, a race in which he finished second in 2006, although it is not included in Valverde' personal calendar for 2007. Nothing has changed since then, according to Victor Cordero. "We do not have anything against Alejandro Valverde now. The only thing that we demand is that anybody clearly identified and linked to a doping investigation cannot participate in the Vuelta, but this task falls to the participating teams, not to us," Cordero commented.
The Vuelta director added more concretely about Alejandro Valverde that, "in my opinion, he is not mentioned in the Operación Puerto," although he clarified at the same time, "it does not fall to me to decide if it is thus or no."