In an interview published in the Spanish sports newspaper AS, Ignacio Ayuso, president of Vuelta a España organiser Unipublic, said that 'Operacion Puerto' will clean up the Vuelta. Cycling is losing credibility [with the doping scandals - ed.] but there are also pros like Valverde and Mancebo who do not generate doubt.
"I have the feeling that the investigation has still not finished, that there is still more," he added. "And this increases the problem for the organisers, mainly for the Tour, which is next up." With regard to the Comunidad Valenciana team and their non-participation in the Tour de France, Ayuso said: "The Tour took that decision on the basis of the data it had at the time, but we can hope that once the secret of the investigation is lifted, we'll know the exact implication of Ignacio Labarta in the case, as well as if Comunidad Valenciana has failed to fulfil the ethical code. In this case, we will also retract our invitation."
As to the Würth team, whose new sponsor Astana still has to be confirmed by the UCI, and whose ProTour license has to be renewed, Ayuso said, "The ProTour License Commission will decide on Friday if it renews the license with its new sponsorship. My impression is that they are going to renew it, although I think that they must examine thoroughly if the arrest of Manuel Saiz by the Civil Guard was itself an infringement of the ethical code which governs this competition."
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
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