Operation Puerto: Time to Chill Out
Hopefully the craziness from Operation Puerto dies down long enough for some racing to take place in the next few days. I am all for stopping cheaters, but the way El Pais, and the Spanish authorities have run this latest scandal it is very irresponsible. The who scandal is being played out in the press and the A.S.O is willing to go with the innuendo and press reports rather than wait for cold hard evidence. It is also very contradictory that the A.S.O would give Jan Ullrich the green light to compete in the Tour while at the same time keeping out Astana-Wurth.
A.S.O, CAS, El Pais, LeMonde, L’Equipe and other organizations have been busy acting on drug stories ranging from reports on Lance Armstrong saying he used EPO to the latest list of implicated riders associated with Operation Puerto. All of these stories help to sell newspapers, especially as journalist are hungry for cycling related news as Tour time approaches.
What is disturbing is that the A.S.O is basing decisions on press reports that are not totally substantiated. El Pais seems to be the judge, jury and executioner as far as Jean Marie LeBlanc is concerned. They say most of the Astana-Wurth team is dirt, then good enough for him. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence from the past, but any decision to ban a team should be based on something more substatial.
Meanwhile, names of riders such as Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Alehandro Valverde, Franciso Mancebo and more are having their names associated with the scandal. Should they all be excluded from the Tour based on the latest news?
At this point unless it is a story about someone who already tested positive such as Tyler Hamilton or Roberto Heras, the press and Spanish Authorities should keep the info to themselves and wait until they have a case or actual charges. What is the benefit of throwing names out to the public when there are no formal charges?