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Scarponi: "I am Zapatero"

Michele Scarponi racing in Coppi e Bartali

Michele Scarponi racing in Coppi e Bartali (Image credit: Sirotti)

"Yes, I am Zapatero and Il Presidente," said Italian Michele Scarponi yesterday during a two-hour hearing with Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri. The 27 year-old rider had been linked with Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, and yesterday confirmed his code name and other secrets. "They are nicknames that they gave to me," he confirmed, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The ten pages that Scarponi agreed to sign as part of his confession are being kept a secret by Torri and his assistant Franco Cosenza. The reason is speculated to be that the contents have names of other riders not yet known to the public.

"They are afraid to talk," explained Torri. "They are afraid to be cast aside."

Torri explained that he was content with what Scarponi and Ivan Basso revealed. "They recalled the grave mistakes that were made." Scarponi's admission followed two days after Basso agreed to cooperate with CONI's investigation.

"He was able to detail the 'system' of doping and how the riders come into contact with this web of easygoing doctors, teams without scruples and traffickers."

The details given by Scarponi were prepared by his lawyers. He is expected to appear before CONI in the coming days.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

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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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