How is Valverde still racing?

I seem to recall a couple of years ago that cycling agreed to a whiter than white ethic and that a rider who couldn't satisfactorily answer even internal questions to his behaviours was immediately pulled from racing and put on suspension. This was the case with Basso at CSC and I think Ullrich too. I can't remember if this was an UCI/ASO edict or I think more probably a team/rider charter that everyone signed. So how the hell is Valverde still racing when the CONI anti-doping prosecutor is demanding a two-year ban? Did not everyone sign up to this "at the first hint of impropriety" agreement, or what happened?

Also, how is Caisse d'Epargne still getting a Tour invite when in the past ASO has taken a zero tolerance approach to any team they thought was not up to their high ethical standards?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Imagine if it was not Valverde, but Armstrong...;)

It would bee a media frenzy, expecially in France...
 
All good questions.

First, the Spanish authorities (RFEC) not CONI have technical jurisdiction here, and they have chosen to not go after any cyclists. They said they were going to go after Fuentes, Saiz and their helpers instead, but they haven't really done that either. The point is, what CONI is attempting is rather unprecedented. Thus, until it's sorted out, the UCI (and other organizations) continue to let him ride.

Next, the UCI went after Valverde once before and tried to keep him from racing because of his alleged involvement in OP on the grounds you mention. Valverde took his case to CAS who ruled in his favor. So my guess is that the UCI is reluctant to take that up again until they get more ammunition.

So, my gut tells me he'll be suspended one way or the other fairly soon. Maybe before the Ardennes classics, but we'll see. I just can't see the guy at the Tour.

The irony is that had REFC pursued operation puerto from the get go, all the cases would have been long over, and probably every rider suspended would be back racing again!

Now, for more opinion:

There's also the issue of not justice, but equal justice. It's odd to me that CONI and the UCI have repeatedly gone after Valverde, and pretty much ignored everyone else who was on the OP list (and all the code names, trying to match those DNA bags) over the last two years. Some of those riders have retired, or already been bounced, but several others have not. The reported futbol, tennis and other athletes supposedly involved were completely ignored. So why only go after Valverde?

While I'm all but convinced he doped. I'm also all but convinced he was doing it when nearly everyone doped, and I believe he's probably been riding clean since about 2006 judging by his results. His performance has been a big drop from his 2005 up-the-mountain sprint with Lance and the Chicken at Courcheval. Valverde's only decent GT was when he completely exhausted himself in the 2006 Vuelta, trying to keep up with Vinokourov and Kashekin who were amazingly fresh in the last week of that race (and obviously doped up to their eyeballs). Other than that, he's hardly contended in any of the other GTs. Mostly just some good classic and one day wins.

Does that excuse his past offenses? Nope. Which is why I think he will get suspended, and we won't see him at the Tour. Personally I'm hoping that REFC will pull their heads out of their collective a**, Valverde will cooperate with them, and considering the time frame and recent events, they'll give him a suspension similar to what DiLuca got from CONI that gets him back racing maybe in 2010. But we'll see.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Is Caisse d'Epargne is sponsor for any ASO run events? May explain a few things, being a French bank and all.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
unsheath said:
Is Caisse d'Epargne is sponsor for any ASO run events? May explain a few things, being a French bank and all.
im sure its got nothing to do with the aso part owning the vuelta either..

as far as valverde goes.. i think the innocent till proven guilty applies but im susprised event organisers are not putting there foot down.. there could be a rapid scrubbing of his name from podium listings for this year shiould be banned..
 
Mar 19, 2009
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He's not banned anywhere yet. A CONI tribunal will decide if he should be suspended for 2 years in Italy May 11.

If the UCI honors that suspension worldwide, Valverde will have to take the matter to CAS. That is what Stef Schumacher is doing. If the RFEC decides to back Valverde and let him race in Spain then it would pit the RFEC and Valverde against the UCI. That is what happened in the Iban Mayo affair. The RFEC lost that case before the CAS.


Alpe d'Huez said:
While I'm all but convinced he doped. I'm also all but convinced he was doing it when nearly everyone doped, and I believe he's probably been riding clean since about 2006 judging by his results.
A rider isn't going to go from massive doping to nothing. He is only going to dope less.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Everyone is allowed the due process of testing and trial. Pity the system is so effing corrupt and badly broken--that's why MANY investigated riders are still riding.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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UCI to blame

the sad fact is the governing body is to blame.
The UCI needs to get it's house in order. Now that the testing is catching up with the cheats. One rule needs to be introduced, ENFORCED and protected. If a rider is caught,ANYwhere on the planet- the ban is worldwide. Currently it is a farce.

http://www.bikepure.org

join us, and help start a new era of cyclesport.
 
Apr 2, 2009
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I am kind of surprised, that so few are aware about the meaning of the actual status in Valverdes case. But okay, if your only source for the doping cases is Cyclingnews, I can easily understand why most of you are unaware! I am a huge fan of Cyclingnews, but they just seem to be hopeless to cover the details in all the ongoing doping cases. In my point of view that's truely a shame, since it creates a picture of unfair trials and verdicts, and the understanding why a certain rider is convicted and others not, often get lost in the fog!

Trust me! The sports court are always running on a fair and objective basis! I have been reading all the important CAS and CONI decisions, know the WADA and UCI antidoping rules to all points and dots, and can promise you that riders always are punished on an extremely fair and equal basis! In example Basso was handed out a standard 24 month suspension for violating rule §2.2 (attempted doping use), and only got it reduced with 6 months due to the fact the Team CSC had already suspended him 6 months from racing in the time frame of Juli-December 2006 (before he joined Discovery). And regarding Di Luca, it was a fact that he recieved 3 months suspension for "visiting an illegal doctor" without an approved license (which is a special Italian antidoping rule), and CAS outlined that they couldnt convict him guilty of §2.2 (attempted doping use), since neither UCI/CONI/WADA had found the evidense strong enough to charge him on that account (while the evidense for a rider like Mazzoleni was strong enough to get him busted for a §2.2 violation).

In the end it all depends upon the strength of the evidense! And there is absolutely NO WAY, that a rider like Valverde can escape getting a doping sentence of 2 years, now when he has posted a positive DNA match with the blood bag in Operation Puerto. I predict TNA (which is the Italian doping court making the verdict on the case started by the CONI prosecutor) will convict Valverde guilty of violating §2.2 (attempted doping use), and then Valverde will try to appeal to CAS, where they will confirm the judgement of TNA. The only way Valverde can get that sentence reduced, is by making a collaboration with the investigators in the case, just like Jaksche did. In case of a total collaboration with importance to bring other athletes/persons for justice, then a rider can have the suspension reduced to 1 year (but never to something less than that, when we have a §2.2 violation)!

The only problem that we currently have in the Cycling World, is that the Spanish cycling federation called RFEC tend to protect their riders rather than prosecute them (which leaves all the dirty work to be done by UCI and CONI). Plus as I mentioned earlier in another topic, that ALL police investigations revealing a doping network, with the current lack of proper WADA rules, ALWAYS are getting delayed, because the sports courts are obliged to wait for the final verdict in the civil court, before they are allowed to judge!


Moving back for a final note on Valverdes case. Yes, he is so far not suspended! But please dont forget, that all the ProTour teams signed an ethical agreement back in January 2005! The moment a prosecutor (like CONI) decide to start a case against a rider, or the moment from notice of a positive doping test, then the ethical rules stipulates, that the team will be obliged to keep their rider away from all races, until a verdict has been announced by the judge in the sports court! So if Valverde show up in the future ProTour races, he will actualy violate the ethical rules! What will be the consequence if a team violates the Ethical rules? Well, normaly this would mean that the team will be excluded from the team organisation called AIGCP and get a very bad reputation! The funny fact is, that Caisse d'Epargne already left AIGCP in 2008 after controversy about how to deal with the ethical rules. So what prevent them from actualy continue to break the ethical rules?

1) If they get bad publicity from breaking the ethical rules. This would obviously require Cyclingnews (and other critical journalists) start to wake up!
2) The race organisers tell to Caisse d'Epargne, that the team wont be allowed to start the race in case they show up with Valverde!

But does it really matter that much, when we only speak about a time frame from the end of March until May 11? To me its a matter of principal! You just never ever break the ethical rules! We need all rules commonly agreed to be respected by all teams. The ethical rules are not convicting the rider before the judge has spoken, but are simply created to protect Cycling from bad publicity in case he is convicted guilty. Even if the rider is convicted innosent, its still bloody important to follow and respect the ethical rules. To put it straight, thats the price all riders have to pay for joining a top professional sport! The ethical rules dont sideline riders in case a wierd guy accuse them for doping! NO, the ethical rules are sidelining riders in case:

1) A police report gets published to inform the public about the outcome from an police investigation (Like Operation Puerto in 2006).
2) UCI or another antidoping organisation (eg. CONI) decides to START A CASE against a rider, based upon an investigation of facts!
3) In case of a rider recieving notice that he tested positive with his A sample!

All 3 situations are serious enough to sideline the rider to protect the sport, just to be precourtionary! So that's why its a huge scandal, in case Valverde show up at the Ardennes Classics, without the race organiser or the media or the ProTour teams putting up the red flag in order to at least prevent him from racing all the top races on the World Calendar! :mad:
 
That's a good point Golden.

My understanding is that part of what helped DiLuca in the "oil for drugs" scandal is that he cooperated with Torri behind closed doors, as Santuccione was definitely a bad man who needed to be stopped. Mazzolini and Spezioletti got thrown under the bus, but that was already in motion from their own doing. Diluca definitely "intended to dope", but he was mostly just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Some clarity for all to keep a few things in mind regarding the "under suspicion" concept: If the "under suspicion" rule applied the way some people think it should, Valverde wouldn't have raced from July of 2006 to this day!

When Torri first commented on this new Valverde chapter, he said that Valverde was only the beginning, and they planned on matching all of the blood bags to DNA attained. Why this hasn't happened, or is so super slow in happening, is beyond me.

Everyone also forgets the UCI's anti-doping charter, which was signed by every rider in early 2006 (including Valverde). This is a very large, sharp sword, that they haven't even taken out of the sheath, but could cause great consternation to dopers and suspected dopers, past and present. The first guy who they could eviscerate with it, and should IMO, is Alexander Vinokourov. He was not only knee deep in OP, but doped since that time. And remember, this charter does not apply to double-jeopardy suspensions - hence, Vino (and Valverde, TH, etc.) are not immune to it's power because they already served (are serving) suspensions.
 
Innocent until proven guilty (as I've read somewhere here)? Ok...but Valverde has been proven guilty sir. Coni simply had gotten a hold of the Puerto blood sack and matched it with the blood, his, that they had from the Tour when it passed through Italy last year. Bingo. No story here. Valverde doped last year too. As far as post 2006 is concerned, I seriously doubt there wasn't a year he didn't dope. His Classics and Worlds results confirm this. As far as the Grand Tours go, his sprint over Armstrong was a pure case. There exists a thing as a phenomenal day, and that day for Valverde was one of them. Doped naturally. Afterward his Grand Tour prospects have simply returned to what they naturally (in the nature sense) are for him. Top ten. No more. Doped of course. He's more of an Ardenne's/hard stage win guy than overall contender.

As far as juristiction goes, well, the Italians can do whatgever they want to him when it comes to racing on Italian soil. Simple. It's like if me as an American commits a crime in Italy, I'm tried in the Italian courts and, if found guilty, am sent to an Italian jail (actually no I'm not, because the Italians never send anyone to jail, ha!). But seriously, I think for CONI it has become a matter of principle, because they persued Baso with professinality, whereas the Spanish are frankly a joke and have been scandalously covering up for their athletes in what for them is a golden age in Spanish sports which makes it also political, ideological and propagandistic. Just a few decades ago the Spaniards where nobody in the world of sport, but since Indurain, Reale Madrid, Nadal, Contador etc. have practically become the darlings of European sports. National rivalries here folks. In any case what is missing here, as in the EU political scene, is a union wide system of rules and juristiction rights to level the playing field and make the anti-doping war legit. I'm not holding my breath for it to happen though, because national rivalries within the EU still exists as they did in the Middle Ages, despite the political processes toward economic unification. Which brings me to France. Why are the french seemingly no longer competetive in their own Grand Tour? Partly because no doubt after Hinault and Fignon there has been little true talent, though after the Festina Affair pehaps some change in the doping culture as actually taken place. In other words, if there is some hope to clean up the sport it is to France one must go for a model. Whereas Italy has started to move in that direction (along with Germany and Austria). Spain, by contrast, is a joke. From Saiz to Bruyneel, to Fuentes...where the Posties-Disco boys-Astana crew have always been based. Spain is a problem for us.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Golden Hawk said:
Trust me! The sports court are always running on a fair and objective basis! I have been reading all the important CAS and CONI decisions, know the WADA and UCI antidoping rules to all points and dots, and can promise you that riders always are punished on an extremely fair and equal basis! In example Basso was handed out a standard 24 month suspension for violating rule §2.2 (attempted doping use), and only got it reduced with 6 months due to the fact the Team CSC had already suspended him 6 months from racing in the time frame of Juli-December 2006 (before he joined Discovery).
It does not seem all that fair nor consistent to me. The time that a suspension starts seems to vary a lot. Some athlete's have theirs start on the date they stopped racing. Others' suspensions start later but an appeal to CAS moves the date back to the the date they last competed. And others' suspensions start months after they stopped racing. An example of this last is Floyd Landis, whose suspension started five or six months after he stopped racing and was suspended by his team.

It seems to me there should be a simple and straighforward rule for when suspensions start, and the date the athlete last raced or the date of notification, whichever is later, would be the simplest rule.
 
rhubroma said:
Valverde doped last year too. As far as post 2006 is concerned, I seriously doubt there wasn't a year he didn't dope. His Classics and Worlds results confirm this. As far as the Grand Tours go, his sprint over Armstrong was a pure case. There exists a thing as a phenomenal day, and that day for Valverde was one of them. Doped naturally. Afterward his Grand Tour prospects have simply returned to what they naturally (in the nature sense) are for him. Top ten. No more. Doped of course. He's more of an Ardenne's/hard stage win guy than overall contender.
I don't understand the reasoning behind this statement at all. Why do his results 'confirm' that he doped? Does beating Armstrong in a sprint count as proof of doping? Why? Does this mean Kloeden is not a doper because Lance pipped him on the line in 2004? This conclusion seems equally as sound as the one you're drawing. Valverde has won tons of sprints uphill, it's not like 2005 in the Tour was an anomaly, in fact beating one man to the line is less spectacular than beating a whole peloton, as he has done many times.

It's not that I don't think he doped or that the CONI evidence isn't convincing, it's just that I don't understand your argument. He was 5th in the 2005 Tour when he pulled out, not much higher than what you say his tour prospects are 'naturally'.

I guess to put it bluntly: what the hell are you talking about?
 
Apr 2, 2009
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BroDeal said:
It does not seem all that fair nor consistent to me. The time that a suspension starts seems to vary a lot. Some athlete's have theirs start on the date they stopped racing. Others' suspensions start later but an appeal to CAS moves the date back to the the date they last competed. And others' suspensions start months after they stopped racing. An example of this last is Floyd Landis, whose suspension started five or six months after he stopped racing and was suspended by his team.

It seems to me there should be a simple and straighforward rule for when suspensions start, and the date the athlete last raced or the date of notification, whichever is later, would be the simplest rule.
Yes, its correct that it variates a lot. But in each case, where the beginning of the suspension time is settled, the judge always carefully decide the correct suspension time, according to the existing rules. Since 2005 where UCI became a member of WADA, the UCI regulation has been following the official WADA rules about how to calculate suspension times. To make it brief:


1) If the athlete admit his violation timely, the suspension time start from the day of the positive test.
(eg. Kohl got suspended from July 2 in 2008).

2) If the athlete dont admit his violation, the suspension time start from the day of the NADA's hearing decision.
(eg. Schumacher got suspended from Jan.21 in 2009).

3) The suspension time can also start on the day, where the athlete accepts to suspend himself, on a complete voluntary basis.
(Landis stated in 2006 he would compete if getting invited. So suspension only start when he promised not to compete in Jan.2007).

4) In case of unnormal delays in the arbitration process, caused by the NADA/court, the start of the suspension is moved back.
(Fertonani's 2 year suspension was moved back to the date of his positive test from 17/2-2007, eventhough the hearing decision only happened in December 2007, simply to compensate for unfair dealys in the arbitration).


The 4 rules above basicly remain unchanged in the WADA rules from 2005 and the new edition of the rules in force from Jan. 2009. But in regards of the concept "Voluntary suspension", the paragraph being used in the cases against Basso and Landis, the new WADA rules has been reformulated to underline the actual meaning of "Voluntary suspension". According to WADA, the CAS court previously used a too lenient definition, and therefor now has underlined that from January 2009 its no longer enough for the athlete to document, that he didnt participate in further races after he was accused of the doping violation, and hence should be regarded as "voluntary suspended" from that day. From now on, only a explicit written "voluntary suspension" filed to the court, are counting as such! Below I have "copy pastet" the exact paragraphs from the new WADA rules, that regulate the start time of a suspension:


Art.10.9.2 - Commencement of Ineligibility Period, in case of a Timely Admission:
"Where the Athlete or other Person promptly (which, in all events, for an Athlete means before the Athlete competes again) admits the anti-doping rule violation after being confronted with the antidoping rule violation by the AntiDoping Organization, the period of Ineligibility may start as early as the date of Sample collection or the date on which another antidoping rule violation last occurred. In each case, however, where this Article is applied, the Athlete or other Person shall serve at least onehalf of the period of Ineligibility going forward from the date the Athlete or other Person accepted the imposition of a sanction, the date of a hearing decision imposing a sanction, or the date the sanction is otherwise imposed. This Article shall not apply where the period of Ineligibility already has been reduced under Art.10.5.4 (admission of an Antidoping rule violation in the absence of other evidence)."


Art.10.9.5 - Special justifications are needed, for starting the period of Ineligibility earlier than the date of hearing decision:
"No credit against a period of Ineligibility shall be given for any time period before the effective date of the Provisional Suspension or voluntary Provisional Suspension regardless of whether the Athlete elected not to compete or was suspended by his or her team. Arbitration delays not attributable to the Athlete, timely admission by the Athlete and Provisional Suspension are the only justifications for starting the period of Ineligibility earlier than the date of the hearing decision."


Finaly to put all these suspension rules into perspective in Valverdes case, I should remind you that everything that happend for athletes earlier than 1.Jan.2009, however still will be regulated by the 2005-version of the WADA rules. So when evaluating all the tempoarly archived cases in Operation Puerto, the riders will still get a reduction in their suspension time, if they somehow can document to have suffered a suspension from their team (related to the case)in the time frame from June 30 in 2006 until Dec.31 in 2008. The funny fact about Valverde, is that he anyway never suffered any kind of suspension from his team, so in any case it wont matter. So on the bottom line, we can all be damn sure, that in case TNA convict Valverde guilty of "attempted doping use" without having provided any kind of "valuable collaboration", then the suspension will be settled as:

2 years suspension in Italy, running from the day of the TNA hearing 11/5-2009 until 10/5-2011.
And UCI will of course quickly decide, to accept this suspension to apply for all International races.
 
skidmark said:
I don't understand the reasoning behind this statement at all. Why do his results 'confirm' that he doped? Does beating Armstrong in a sprint count as proof of doping? Why? Does this mean Kloeden is not a doper because Lance pipped him on the line in 2004? This conclusion seems equally as sound as the one you're drawing. Valverde has won tons of sprints uphill, it's not like 2005 in the Tour was an anomaly, in fact beating one man to the line is less spectacular than beating a whole peloton, as he has done many times.

It's not that I don't think he doped or that the CONI evidence isn't convincing, it's just that I don't understand your argument. He was 5th in the 2005 Tour when he pulled out, not much higher than what you say his tour prospects are 'naturally'.

I guess to put it bluntly: what the hell are you talking about?

The commentor here above in regards to what the hell I was talking about is obviously too naive and knows nothing about how the cycling game is played to warrent a response. So believe, in your out of touch with reality state, whatever the hell you want, I couldn't care less...
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Unless of course you're a party girl exchange student who hangs out with losers, and a dead girl ends up in your dorm building.
Of course you're talking about the Amanda Cox affair. Let's put it this way, had she been an Italian student caught up in such a crime in the US, it would not have caused any international issue. A double standard, like America demanding (and doing so) to try its own drunk airforce pilates years ago who had flown from a US airbase in Italy and ran into a cable knocking down a ski lift and killing dozens of Italians on home soil.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Of course you're talking about the Amanda Cox affair. Let's put it this way, had she been an Italian student caught up in such a crime in the US, it would not have caused any international issue. A double standard, like America demanding (and doing so) to try its own drunk airforce pilates years ago who had flown from a US airbase in Italy and ran into a cable knocking down a ski lift and killing dozens of Italians on home soil.
drunk pilates sounds like fun...:D
 
rhubroma said:
The commentor here above in regards to what the hell I was talking about is obviously too naive and knows nothing about how the cycling game is played to warrent a response. So believe, in your out of touch with reality state, whatever the hell you want, I couldn't care less...
Sorry, I must have gone a bit too far in my use of language. I was just trying to understand your argument, I didn't want to incite an ad hominem attack. I sincerely apologize for getting your hackles up, I'm a big fan of respectful discussion and didn't want to turn this into something that is not respectful.

So apologies for the 'what the hell' phrasing, but my question/criticism is still valid, I think.

I'll try to state it more objectively. From what I can conclude, your reasoning for your conclusion that Valverde doped is that a) he beat Lance Armstrong in a mountain stage, and b) his results in the Tour were not as good after.

Point a, on it's own, does not seem to me to be confirmation of doping. How is it? Lance has been beaten on the line on mountain stages in the past by better finishers who managed to hold his wheel. Why do you think this win was so special that it means Valverde doped?

Point b, since he was in 5th in the Tour in 2005 when he pulled out, and the next 2 Tours he finished he was 6th and 8th, I don't really think that his results in 2005 were much more spectacular than that, which is what it seems you're trying to say.

I'm certainly not naive about the state of cycling, I have very very little doubt in my mind that Valverde doped pre-puerto, and would not be in the slightest surprised if he did afterwards, if perhaps less frequently/more circumspectly. What I am not clear about is your reasoning and your argument, so I was hoping that you would clarify these arguments, in response to what I see as holes in your reasoning, as summarized above. This is not about whether he is guilty, this is just me attempting to clarify what I see as faulty reasoning.
 
rhubroma said:
Innocent until proven guilty (as I've read somewhere here)? Ok...but Valverde has been proven guilty sir. Coni simply had gotten a hold of the Puerto blood sack and matched it with the blood, his, that they had from the Tour when it passed through Italy last year. Bingo. No story here. Valverde doped last year too.
Isn't there a thread/disclaimer instituted by the forum administrators that states without supporting facts one is not to introduce your own character defaming opinions in the forums. As far as "Valverde doping last year too" where is the supporting evidence via legal court documents? The proven guilt is from an investigation that is years old as is the evidence that incriminates
him. Or maybe I missed that news flash where evidence was found that he doped last year too. If you have the link I'd love to see it.
 
rhubroma said:
The commentor here above in regards to what the hell I was talking about is obviously too naive and knows nothing about how the cycling game is played to warrent a response. So believe, in your out of touch with reality state, whatever the hell you want, I couldn't care less...
You have a habit of minimizing other forum member's cycling knowledge as it compares to your own in response to questions about the credibility of your posts instead of actually giving any supporting facts, links, legal verdicts or anything that would actually answer the questions posed to you.

Why not simply answer the questions and continue with the dialogue instead sidestepping the issue at hand ?
 
rhubroma said:
But seriously, I think for CONI it has become a matter of principle, because they persued Baso with professinality, whereas the Spanish are frankly a joke and have been scandalously covering up for their athletes in what for them is a golden age in Spanish sports which makes it also political, ideological and propagandistic. Just a few decades ago the Spaniards where nobody in the world of sport, but since Indurain, Reale Madrid, Nadal, Contador etc. have practically become the darlings of European sports. National rivalries here folks. .
Now the Italians aren't without fault. After Ricco, Sella and Piepoli were found to have doped and a test for CERA that prior to the Tour was thought to not exist, they were given the choice to retest the samples from the Giro and chose not too. Doubtless that had they tested those samples, more riders would have been found to have used CERA, but I don't believe there would have been any legal standing to pursue prosecuting them. It would have at least alerted the sport to who else was using this latest form of EPO.
 
Angliru said:
You have a habit of minimizing other forum member's cycling knowledge as it compares to your own in response to questions about the credibility of your posts instead of actually giving any supporting facts, links, legal verdicts or anything that would actually answer the questions posed to you.

Why not simply answer the questions and continue with the dialogue instead sidestepping the issue at hand and tossing insulting responses?
Mine are not insults. I seem, after all, to recall having first been asked rudely "what the hell" I was talking about. Look I'm not sure where you're from (Australia would be my first bet, if not the US), but let me tell you things are perceived differently here in Europe. Especially in the traditional cycling countries, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain. Because frankly the way you talk about cycling seems to be from that naive perspecive that we often hear form Down Under or the US, where many are under the impression that below the surface things are really not as dirty as they are portrayed. Really such cultural differences represent New world candor vs. Old world cynicism. And frankly I put more faith in what the Italians or the French say and in my own experiences. They know and I've been inside and competing within the Euro scene for 15 years now after 6 years in the US and, so, have formed my opinions based on this long experience. I have been around team doping I have known about Dr. Santucci from teammates who went to him, before he became notorious in regards to the Di Luca affair. I have seen the wives deliver la roba in igloo containers to the hotel to avoid the police, etc.

In any case, my job isn't to bring the "facts" into the discussion nor to sanction anyone. That is for the courts. I'm simply convinced that a Liege Bastone Liege winner in the last decade was doped. And the same goes for a 7 strait years Tour winner and not only... So mine again is not insulting, but nor is it a moralistic world view governed by "wholesomeness" and a spirit of unwavering candor. Because the reality is rather different. And one doesn't need court convictions, nor the "facts" to know what is going on. So again believe whatever you want.
 

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