Puerto to expand as WADA gains access The Operacion Puerto doping scandal is entering a more revealing phase, after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was accepted as a party to the Spanish court proceedings last Monday. This means that WADA will have access to all the files associated with the case, which up until now has been prevented by Puerto judge Antonio Serrano. “WADA will review the documents for elements which may be used for sports disciplinary purposes and will work with UCI,” said WADA in a statement. “WADA also is filing an appeal against the decision of the Spanish judge to suspend the proceedings.” There are up to 107 cyclists involved in the affair, which is now one year old. High profile cyclists Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso have both been linked, with Basso doing an about face and admitting to being “Birillo” last week. Despite the revelation, the Italian stopped short of saying he actually doped – he only “intended to”. But Italian newspaper La Repubblica has reported that Basso had been seeing Fuentes for “at least two seasons” and that he had been advised to go there by “an Italian doctor … a Tuscan who is very well known in the sport” – a reference to Luigi Cecchini. Michele Scarponi has also admitted to being part of Dr Fuentes’ client list as the codenames “Zapatero” and “Il Presidente”, and it’s thought that he revealed more information about some of the other Puerto riders to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). The latter has asked the Italian cycling federation to suspend both Basso and Scarponi until the Puerto investigation finishes. The rumours as to whether Alejandro Valverde is involved in Puerto are gathering momentum. Italian newspaper Il Giornale reported that according to its sources in the Spanish Guardia Civil, Valverde was number 18 in Dr Fuentes’ blood bank. That number corresponds to the codenames “Valv.” and “Piti” in Dr Fuentes’ files. Valverde’s team Caisse d’Epargne hasn’t yet suspended its star rider, although it did stop Ruben Plaza and Constantino Zaballa from racing the Giro d’Italia because of their Puerto involvement. They are permitted to ride in other events. Finally, last Thursday, Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad linked Luxembourger Frank Schleck to the codename “Amigo di Birillo” in the Puerto dossier. Schleck and Basso rode together on CSC during the Giro d’Italia last year, but no concrete evidence was presented by the paper as to why Schleck was the as yet unnamed “Amigo di Birillo”. Hoy fails in his last kilo Chris Hoy rode his final one-kilometre time trial in La Paz, Bolivia over the weekend. The Scot was attempting to better the high-altitude record of Arnaud Tournant (58.875 seconds), but his two rides of 59.103 and 58.880 seconds on Saturday and Sunday weren’t good enough. As a consolation, he set a new altitude world record of 24.758 seconds in the flying 500m on Sunday afternoon, knocking over a second off Arnaud Duble’s 25.850 seconds, set in 2001. “I’ve got the second and third best times in history, but only he [Tournant] and I know what it takes to get there,” Hoy told The Scotsman. “It puts in to perspective what he achieved, but with a bit of luck, I could have beaten him. But the whole team are coming back with a world record which might take a bit of beating, which is still great for me and my sponsors.” Hoy finished his kilo career as the last ever(?) Olympic Champion in the discipline, as the event has been axed from the Olympic programme. He has also won three world championships, a Commonwealth Games gold medal, and holds the sea level kilo world record at 1:00.711, set in Athens at the 2004 Olympics. “I’ve ridden my last kilo – but there will always be a bit of me wondering if that record could still be bettered,” he concluded. Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
The World Anti-Doping Agency now has access to the Operacion Puerto files, paving the way for a new