Hands tied at UCI

By Hedwig Kröner

The International Cycling Union (UCI) is waiting for "concrete proof" in the Spanish Operación Puerto affair to be able to engage disciplinary procedures. UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews that the governing body of cycling will not take a stand on the matter now opposing new-founded ProTour team Astana-Würth and Tour de France organiser ASO unless it has official information on the current investigation.

"We cannot start any disciplinary procedure against riders or teams on the basis of a newspaper report," Carpani said. "If the secret of the investigation is lifted, we will be able to intervene, but not with the situation as it is now. We need concrete proof, and names, by the Spanish judicial authorities to have the legal basis for further action, including possible sanctions."

UCI president Pat McQuaid, who is in constant contact with Spanish authorities, regretted the current situation. "It is very frustrating for us in particular who want to do something, who want to sanction riders once they need sanctioning, and want to get rid of riders like this out of the sport, that at this moment in time our hands are tied behind our backs," McQuaid told news agency AP at a conference in Paris on doping.

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