Ex-teammate of Valverde talks
Jesus Manzano, ex-rider for Kelme who has spoken out about alleged doping practices within the sport, will be in Italy today to supply information regarding Operación Puerto.The Spaniard will be heard by Paolo Ferraro, the Italian magistrate who is helping on the Italian side of the Spanish investigation that began over one year ago when the Guardia Civil raided the offices of Eufemiano Fuentes and Merino Batres.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferraro called Manzano for his collaboration, similar to what the Spaniard is offering to the Spanish investigators. Ferraro, probably at the request of NAS (Italy's Anti-Narcotics Group), needs to clarify if there is a relation between the Operación Puerto and 'Oil for Drugs' investigations and if they involved criminal actions committed against Italian citizens or on Italian territory.
Yesterday, in an interview with L'Equipe, the 29 year-old Manzano talked about Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde. "We want to believe that maybe he was the only Kelme cyclist that raced on lettuce alone; it is clear that he is up to his neck in the Fuentes event," said Manzano of his former Kelme teammate.
Valverde is allegedly linked to Operación Puerto, under the code name 'VALV. (PITI)' and the number '18' but he has steadfastly denied any involvement.