International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid lashed out at the Spanish cycling authorities for not getting to the bottom of Operación Puerto – the doping investigation that started in May 2006 and centred round Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
"The Spanish authorities don't want to battle against doping," said the 58 year-old Irishman in an interview with dpa. Key events have likely led to McQuaid's belief: Judge Antonio Serrano shelved all Puerto cases this spring, and recently, before the World Championships, the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) refused to agree with the UCI President in not allowing its cyclist Alejandro Valverde to race in Stuttgart.
"I lost the hope; the clarification of Operación Puerto will never come."
27 year-old Valverde, winner of the 2006 UCI ProTour classification, was one of the key Spanish riders supposedly linked to Fuentes. Documents sequestered with 'VALV. (PITI)' and '18' were believed to be code names for the Caisse d'Epargne cyclist. (For more information read No EPO in Basso's blood bags but different for Valverde.)
"The number 18 is him," McQuaid added of Valverde. (Also read McQuaid challenges Spanish to do DNA analysis.)