By Antonio J. Salmerón
The Spanish State Secretary for Sport, Jaime Lissavetzky, asked UCI president Pat McQuaid for more respect for the work in Spain against doping on Thursday, asking that he "not throw shadows of doubt on the Spanish sport or Spanish authorities."
Lissavetzky, who met with McQuaid during the World Anti-doping conference in Madrid, told EFE that the meeting was constructive, but reiterated his criticism of the UCI's actions regarding the Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde, who the UCI sought to ban from the World Championships over his alleged involvement in Operación Puerto. "The rule of law must be based on the presumption of innocence," Lissavetzky stated.
Valverde was eventually allowed to race in the World Championships in Stuttgart, after the Court for Arbitration of Sport ruled that the ban would be a form of "advance sanction". His fight is not yet over, as the UCI claims that it has evidence of Valverde's involvement in the scandal in the dossier obtained from the Spanish Civil Guard.