The French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour has asked the Spanish authorities to name all the athletes involved in Operacion Puerto before July 1 - the start of the Tour de France. Speaking to Spain's sports minister Jaime Lissavetzky at the final of the French Open last weekend, Lamour was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "We spoke about it at length. I told him of our concern that the names be known, if possible, before the opening of the Tour de France. He is doing what he can."
Lamour is concerned that the Tour de France be drug free, as the 1998 Festina affair still haunts the sport. He supported ASO's decision to exclude Comunidad Valenciana from the race. "The Tour de France must go ahead in total transparency," he said. "That is to say with people who cannot be suspected of having benefited from these transfusions."
The international riders association (CPA) issued a statement later today generally supporting Lamour's request. "The CPA congratulates [Lamour and Lissavetzky] for this initiative which is aimed at defending the interests of clean athletes," it read. "Nevertheless, the CPA asks the Minister why this concern should be limited to cycling. After having been informed by the press that athletes of other sports may be implicated, the CPA wishes to know if the Minister made the same call before the beginning of other athletic events, like, for example, Roland Garros or the soccer World Cup."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto