Italians federation supports the UCI

Italian cycling federation (FCI) president Renato Di Rocco added his support to the UCI's decision to open an investigation into Alejandro Valverde's alleged involvement in Operación Puerto. According to the Spanish daily Marca, Di Rocco said "At this time the UCI is taking serious measures after more than a year from the [start] of Operación Puerto. I hope they pursue this with as much rigor with the other 47 implied athletes."

The UCI requested on Wednesday that the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) initiate a disciplinary investigation into Valverde's involvement in the doping scandal, and the RFEC is considering. Di Rocco said that justice in the case had been "delayed by the great amount of documents that there are to examine", but indicated that "there are strong signals of a will to clean up cycling that must affect all of its facets."

Contrary to Di Rocco's support, Italian National selector Franco Ballerini did not find joy in the situation, and only hoped that "the truth prevails". Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca, who has faced his own long and drawn out investigation by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in the 'oil for drugs' case, described the request by the UCI as a "radical action".

Empathetic to Valverde's situation, Di Luca added, "To eliminate the one of the favourites to win the World Championship a month before his main objective of the season, and requesting the opening of an investigation by the Spanish Cycling Federation represents a radical action," affirmed Di Luca.

DI Luca, who endured a four year investigation in the 'oil for drugs' case, in which he was finally cleared on July 12, faces a hearing on September 3 for a new investigation allegedly involving bags of Di Luca's blood.

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

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

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