By Antonio J. Salmerón
What better international showcase than the arrival of the Vuelta a España to the region where Alejandro Valverde lives, Murcia, so that its local government, through the Culture and Sport Council, can publicly show its unconditional support to Alejandro Valverde? The Caisse d'Epargne rider is still the centre of attention in the case with the UCI, which accuses him of being involved in Operación Puerto.
Pedro Alberto Cruz, member of the Culture and Sport Council, will read a statement during a press conference after stage 13, which concludes in Torre Pacheco. From the regional government's point of view, Valverde is an "innocent victim of an abuse by the UCI against his human and athletic dignity".
Sources assured Cyclingnews that from the beginning of this affair they maintained a close collaboration with the Sport Superior Council of Spain and with the Spanish Federation to be able to act jointly in the case of necessary legal actions.
On the other hand, Sanchez Sabater, Valverde's manager, continues to work in Madrid with the said sports organisations in order to evaluate new strategies in response to the UCI, should the cycling federation follow through with the threat of not letting Valverde participate at the Worlds.
The Spanish federation had alos threatened to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne unless the International Cycling Federation (UCI) allows Alejandro Valverde to compete at the Worlds in Stuttgart.