Team Blanco Pro Cycling has opened an internal investigation into Luis Leon Sanchez and his links to Eufemiano Fuentes. He has been suspended by the team until further notice. The Spaniard has been with the squad – formerly Rabobank – since signing a lucrative deal in 2011. The 29-year-old started his career in 2003 at ONCE, under Manolo Saiz, before moving to Caisse d’Epargne in 2007.
However the Blanco management released a statement saying:
"Team Blanco has started an investigation against rider Luis Leon Sanchez after stories in the media about his possible involvement in the case-Fuentes. Until there is clarity about the outcome of the investigation is Luis Leon Sanchez is not included in a selection of Blanco."
In October of last year the team announced that there was ‘no problem with Sanchez’ but with the Operacion Puerto trial opening this week the intensity has magnified. Last week the team said they would investigate claims made by NRC Handelsblad which suggested that Sanchez was known by the code-name of Huerto and number 26.
Sanchez has always denied doping but was part of the Liberty Seguros team in 2006 that was hit by the Spanish police investigation and saw police discover dozens of bags of blood in Eufemiano Fuentes's lab in Madrid. Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Michele Scarponi, Alejandro Valverde and others have all served bans for doping..
Sanchez in a multi winner of Tour de France stages, has won the Spanish time trial championships four time, and finished in the top ten in several grand tours.