July 06, 2006
Doping roundup for July 6
Almost every story in today's CyclingNews daily roundup is doping related; here's a quick synopsis of recent developments.
Eufemiano Fuentes has gone on the offensive. The doctor, charged in the Operación Puerto investigation, says he is guilty of nothing other than safeguarding the health of his clients “because I think the sport at high level is not healthy.”
Fuentes made the point that he's treated all sorts of athletes, including football (soccer), tennis, and track and field competitors.
As for The List, Fuentes says it's a mess:
“The Tour direction sent home riders that I never treated, and there are now clients of mine in the peloton. I'm furious. People were named that I don't even know but other names were concealed.”
A German press agency says Levi Leipheimer stayed in the same hotel as Michele Ferrari, the Italian sports doctor, in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, last year. Ferrari has been persona non grata since being convicted in October 2004 of sports fraud and illegally acting as a pharmacist.
Last week, it turned out that three T-Mobile Tour riders: Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, and Eddy Mazzoleni have had their training plans arranged by Ferrari. The team says Rogers, sitting a bare 1 second behind Tom Boonen in the Tour, cut off contact 2 months ago, and that “all medical arrangements for T-Mobile's 29 riders will in future by handled by the University Clinic in Freiburg.” Ferrari also worked with Lance Armstrong, who publicly ended their relationship after Ferrari's trial, but in 2005, during the publicity for his book Lance Armstrong's War, Daniel Coyle said Ferrari had been spotted in Girona in March.
Discovery Channel, pretty much unscathed by the Puerto files, has agreed to a deal with Astaná-Würth's Sergio Paulinho, named by Spanish authorities, but team director Johan Bruyneel says Portuguese officials believe Paulinho has been “linked wrongly to the case.”
Finally, Astaná has bought out the interest of Manolo Saiz in Active Bay, the company that holds the UCI license for the Liberty Seguros/Astaná-Würth/Astaná team. Tony Rominger will direct the team, at least for next year, as team leader Alexandre Vinokourov has said he'll direct the team in 2 years.