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Valverde could be further linked to Fuentes
By Gregor Brown Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper has shed light on the document that was...
By Gregor Brown
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper has shed light on the document that was issued by Spanish judge Antonio Serrano in conjunction with the shelving of Operación Puerto, March 8, 2007. There are 20 pages from Madrid's Court 31 that, combined with the original dossier of 38 pages (June 27, 2006), reveal further details about the bags of blood sequestered from the three offices of Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde are both allegedly linked to the blood bags through code names, but following examination of the bags, only Valverde's showed traces of EPO, according to the newspaper. However, even if there were no doping products found, blood transfusion is still considered an illegal sporting practice.
On page 13 of the 20-page March document is table 1, containing a list of 99 bags (of the total 223 sequestered in June 2006) that the Guardia Civil sent to a Barcelona anti-doping laboratory to be investigated in the fall of 2006. The table lists the identification number given by the police (GC1, GC2, etc; not related to Fuentes' codes), the police code of the transportation box and the street in which the Guardia Civil found the bags. There were three separate raided locations that brought about blood bags: Calle Alonso Cano (Fuentes), Caidos de la Division Azul (Fuentes) and Fernandez de la Hoz (José Merino Batres).
Aside from the police codes, the document also lists Fuentes' code names and numbers along with the dates of blood extraction. According to the Guardia Civil, the number '2' and the code name 'Birillo' correspond to Basso (the latter being the alleged name of Basso's dog). '2' appears two times (GC2 and GC3) with the dates of extraction of 12/1 and 11/11. No year is specified, but these dates could refer to 2006 and 2005 respectively, or both 2005. 'Birillo' appears twice as well (GC70 and GC71) with the dates of 18/8 and 15/12 (both would be late 2005 because Fuentes' operation was stopped that same summer).
Page 17 of the March document contains another table that lists the eight bags of blood (belonging to 'Klaus,' '5,' 'Falla,' 'Mari,' '18,' 'Gemma') that were found to have the occurrence of exogenous EPO. (Read EPO blood bags attributed to code names.) Not listed in this table is '2' or 'Birillo' but the number '18.' The bag of blood (GC40) was extracted on 23/5 (possibly 2005) and found at location Calle Alonso Cano.
La Gazzetta dello Sport links '18' to Alejandro Valverde, winner of 2006 Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, via the original dossier of June 27, 2006. It points out that '18' appears twice in the Guardia Civil document. A passage of page 3 of the June document reads, "The documents 109, 114 and 155 establish five levels of refrigerator conservation, combining individuals with 2 or 3 identifications via number or pseudonym." Then there is a list of numbers and code names followed by the addition of "In document 114 there is added these numbers 18 - VALV. (PITI) and 20 - VAINS."
'VALV.' is allegedly Valverde and 'PITI' is the name of his dog that Spanish newspapers confirmed, however, the Spaniard has never been summoned by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) in regards to his alleged association with Fuentes.
Meanwhile, former Discovery Channel rider Ivan Basso is expected to be heard again by Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutors on May 11, the eve of the Giro d'Italia departure. Basso's fall statements to CONI could be contradicted by new evidence that has emerged from Madrid.
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Images by Fundación Miguel Indurain (Por un Deporte Limpio)
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