Angelo Zomegnan, director of the Giro d'Italia, backs the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in its pursuit of those tied to Operación Puerto. The Italian spoke Thursday in Madrid about the summons of Alejandro Valverde.
"Ethics are without frontiers. One can't be guilty in Italy and innocent in Switzerland. This is the consequence of an extreme situation and may be used to reach our objectives: cycling needs transparency," Zomegnan said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Ettore Torri, head anti-doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee, summonsed Valverde last week to appear in Rome today for his possible ties to the 2006 doping investigation Operación Puerto. At the request of Valverde, it re-scheduled the hearing for Wednesday at 12:00.
Zomegnan and the directors of the other two Grand Tours – Christian Prudhomme (Tour de France) and Javiér Guillen (Vuelta a España) – met at a forum hosted by Spanish newspaper Marca on Thursday. Organisers scheduled the meeting a few months ago, but the subject of Valverde's case came up nonetheless.
Zomegnan responded to Valverde's remarks in a press release that it is unethical to use blood obtained during an anti-doping control (2008 Tour de France, Cuneo rest day) for DNA tests and comparison to the blood bags obtained in the Operación Puerto raids of May 2006.
The Italian Olympic Committee readied itself when the Operación Puerto case was re-opened January 12. It sought the services of a legal studio in Barcelona. (GB)