Does Anyone Understand this Operation Puerto Thing?

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Operation Puerto, does anyone understand it at all?   Yesterday an article at Velonews says that WADA had tested some of the blood bags that were released last summer and that they have 30 more names to add to the list.  20 of those are cyclists.  Is that a surprise?

I don’t get the whole thing.  It was such a big deal 10 years ago.  Jan Ulrich left the Tour and was suspended by T-Mobile.   Lots of riders were named, then their names were withdrawn.  I can’t name it exactly, but did 2 guys serve suspensions?  I can’t really name anyone other than Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde.  There have been other guys that were named, and they for sure, had blood bags hanging with the other 200+ bags, but I don’t remember any serving a suspension.   Jörge Jaksche?   The can’t even do anything to the doctor that drew the blood.

Now it has been over 10 years and most of the guys, most likely, have retired.  But I’d bet a few haven’t.  Maybe more than a few.   But, they don’t have anything to worry about because the 8 year statute of limitations for doping violations has passed.  What is up with that?  Why is there a statute of limitation on cheating in sports?  If it takes 10 years in courts to get the names, then the statute of limitation is way too short.

The Velonews story says that sports  governing bodies are trying to figure out whether if they actually have the legal authority to release the names.  Is that jacked up or what?    That is a joke.

The got the blood released, DNA tested the blood, and now have the identities.  Release the names.  It is simple.

Isn’t it interesting how much of thies doping stuff happens in the winter around the holidays.   It is kind of a weird way to end the year.  But, the show must go on.


19 thoughts on “Does Anyone Understand this Operation Puerto Thing?

  1. The Cyclist

    Someone’s pulling invisible strings. Nothing new. Sport’s just another name for politics. Unfortunately.

  2. Charlie

    I remember naïvely thinking at the time that everyone with a bag would be screwed. They had all the proof they needed. Now it’s 10 years later and the headlines are almost identical. It’s absurd. I will also be very surprised if any athletes from other sports (with more money and clout than cycling) are named.

  3. Ted

    You have to keep in mind that some riders already received suspensions via Usada arbitration case against LA (only three riders testified – all from Postal – due to that time statute)( Hincapie, Levi and Danielson) . Lance received a lifetime ban mostly because he lied under oath in addition to the damaging testimony of the above-mentioned riders. Naming riders now could be considered defamation of character (if you are not going to prosecute them) – and some cannot be prosecuted due to double jeopardy – they already testified to the arbitration panel against LA – so naming some and not all is not right also – there is no easy answer. In addition to LA – two doctors also received lifetime bans – Michele Ferrari and Luis Garcia del Moral – Bruyneel walked away with 10 year ban which was a slap on the wrist.

  4. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Remember, it was the era of Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid. They figured out how to toss certain “less-liked” riders under the bus, and completely protected their favored sons.

    Remember, UCI needed the sport as a whole to keep growing, so they needed to toss a few carefully selected bodies into the volcano each year to maintain credibility as being interested in clean sport.

  5. Sean YD

    Actually, six riders each received six-month suspensions for testifying to USADA: Americans George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie and Tom Danielson, along with Canadian Michael Barry.

  6. Steve Tilford Post author

    Guys-I don’t think that the Lance deal had much to do with Puerto. That was from testimony under oath.

    And I don’t think that either Oscar or Mancebo ever served a suspension from Puerto.

  7. Choppy Warburton

    Get ready for 4 years of every piece of bad news, civil rights erosion, having the news released at 5:30 PM Fridays. By Monday morning, the American dogs and their 5 minute memories will be more concerned with what happened last night on Dancing with the Stars.

  8. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Doping is the boob job of professional cycling. The better it looks, the more appetizing it seems to a potential partner.

    Amazing performances create drama, and that brings viewership. Viewership brings television. Television brings revenue. The UCI wants EPIC. They NEED epic. They hope that the riders and teams will figure-out the epic part. This is why they trotted-out the fake tests for the whole motorized doping thing. They still want the epic performances, and the cheating helps deliver it.

    Did any of you watch the last hour of the Worlds Road Race this fall? I’ve never seen such an epic hammer-session before in my life. It was riveting to see these guys all going 33+ MPH for that long, and still be able to do a hair-splitting sprint at the end.

    I’m guessing that the demand vacuum is there, and it feels real to the teams and riders. So they fill that gap with whatever means they can muster. First it was transfusions, then it was EPO. Then it was both. Now it’s that plus the motors. What next?

  9. Eric Miller

    Its like someone pulled a scandal out of a hat and they pulled an oldie but goodie to waste money on. This should have stayed dead.

  10. The Cyclist

    Next thing will be genetic doping. Completely undetectable unless you test everyone at conception, or even earlier… Gene therapy might already be in use. Not naming any names but some ppl do look funny in an alien way on their bicycles already today.

  11. Ted

    This is the timeframe of just the Puerto trial from wikipedia – so it puts everything in better focus

    In January 2013, the Operacion Puerto trial went underway, and Eufemiano Fuentes offered to reveal the names of all the athletes who were his clients. Julia Santamaria, the judge presiding the trial, told Fuentes that he was not under obligations to name any athlete other than the cyclists implicated. Fuentes stated that he supplied athletes in other sports with drugs and said: “I could identify all the samples [of blood]. If you give me a list I could tell you who corresponds to each code on the [blood] packs.”

    On the 30 April 2013 Fuentes was found guilty and given a one-year suspended prison sentence. The judge also ruled on a request to hand over blood bags to the Spanish anti-doping agency. The judge ordered the blood bags destroyed, but the anti-doping agency has appealed. Additional appeals where filed by the Union Cycliste Internationale, the Italian National Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as by the prosecution. On 14 June 2016, the original verdict against Fuentes was overruled and he was cleared of all charges. However, 211 blood bags from his laboratory are set to be handed over to anti-doping authorities for investigation

  12. Ted

    So there you have your answer – case cannot be brought to trial again since a verdict has been issued already from the Appellate Court (Fuentes cleared of all charges – also WADA cannot release the names because it would violate the court ruling that the blood bags be destroyed and they were not (could be contempt of court if they do release the names if they did not win the appeal).

  13. Mig

    Also, Dancing With the Stars is originally a British program (Strictly Ballroom) and has expanded to more than 40 countries. In 2005, on the Italian version of the show (called Ballando con le stelle), non other than Mario Cipollini was a contestant.

  14. Steve Tilford Post author

    Bb – Yeah, I’d heard Nadal’s blood was there. Along with a bunch of Spanish football players. They all have a bunch of money and would be pleasantly surprised if their names surfaced. I doubt it. Cyclists, on the other hand, other than Contador, probably can’t determine their own destiny here.


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