Operation Puerto es Muerto
With all of the sound and fury signifying nothing. That is a good way to summarize Operation Puerto which come Monday will be archived. The investigation failed to turn out any solid evidence against anyone that was remotely associated with the case.
Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Fransico Mancebo were barred from the Tour de France based on thin evidence. Liberty Seguros dropped their sponsorship of their ProTour team. Cycling was cast in the shadow of doping once again during its peak exposure time. This combined with Landis’ testosterone issue and you have a body blow for cycling in general.
It would be justified if the evidence proved that top stars were doping. It would help to bring the shady underworld of doping to light and help spur along reform. Instead we get an investigation that never had any solid evidence with lots of unsubstantiated newspaper reports linking cyclists to doping.
Now that the investigation is archived at least Ivan Basso can rest easy as he most likely will not have to face a follow up investigation or new evidence being found in the case. The Tour de France was threatening to bar riders implicated in Operation Puerto, but it seems highly unlikely at this point.