By Hedwig Kröner
A few days after the ProTour teams' vote on whether or not to keep Discovery Channel within their association of mutual interests IPCT, the manager of the French Crédit Agricole team, Roger Legeay, has once again spoken out in favour of DNA testing at the top of the professional sport.
Talking to L'Equipe, Legeay insisted that the only real way to overcome the current crisis due to the Operación Puerto allegations was to make DNA samples of riders available for cross-checking with the samples found in the Spanish blood doping case. "We have to be pragmatic about this," he said. "We have a scientific means to determine the guilt, or innocence, of the mentioned riders. We have to be able to use that. It's up to the countries, to the IOC, the UCI to insist on getting access to the files - without interfering with the course of action taken by the Spanish justice. In order to finally clarify the situation, we need some help.
"At the end of the day, if we do this, then the affair becomes very simple: We have 200 blood bags, we want to know who they belong to, and this surely concerns several different sports. We compare them to the DNA profiles. As long as this isn't done, we'll get nowhere."
Legeay deplored the fact that the information from the Spanish investigation could not be used to sporting sanctions, and was doubtful on whether the ProTour teams would really deliver the DNA of their riders, as was unanimously decided at their latest meeting in Brussels. "There is this consensus, but it's always easy to say that you're going to give DNA samples when you're almost sure that nobody will ask them of you," he said, implying that the Spanish court in charge of the case was not going to identify the riders.
"It's quite clear that the Spanish law isn't interested in the consumers of doping products. But I can't see how, because of some legal back-and-forth, they can just sit on 200 blood bags without anything happening."