By Antonio J. Salmerón
President of Spain's Superior Council of Sports (CSD) Jaime Lissavetzky has responded to the International Cycling Union's (UCI) insinuations that his organization is trying to cover up the case of Alejandro Valverde relating to Operation Puerto. Lissavetzky reiterated CSD's "commitment to fight doping" and the policy of "zero tolerance."
The CSD has sent out an official release, where it anticipated the information published by the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia yesterday, and in which UCI President Pat McQuaid accused Lissavetzky of hiding the implication of Valverde in the Operación Puerto.
"Only if Alejandro Valverde makes available his DNA will he be able to confirm or deny his involvement in Operación Puerto," UCI President Pat McQuaid wrote in a letter to Lissavetzky and Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) President Fulgencio Sánchez. "The elements contained in the dossier reveal a solid link between Valverde, the name 'Piti,' the number 18 and the bags of blood, in which were EPO, that were sequestered. In Spain there is the desire to cover up the information of this event." (For more information read No EPO in Basso's blood bags but different for Valverde.)
The CSD reiterated "its commitment and determined policy against doping" through the approval of Statutory Law of Protection of the health and fight against the doping, that not only guarantees a cleaner sport, but that promotes sport's values and its healthily practice by the citizens.
CSD emphasized its support from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its new laws. "A legislative initiative inspired by the principle of 'zero tolerance,' that put our country in the vanguard of the countries that fight against doping," continued CSD in an official press note.
Lissavetzky assured that he would answer specifically to McQuaid's "unfounded declarations" in a separate letter. He requested for a "joint operation" of all the countries, while "respecting the legal norm. ... The sportsmen should not be judged on the basis of speculations."