According to Velonews, Alejandro Valverde will be back in the peloton for 2012, riding for Movistar (Valverde confirmed for Movistar return). Not many of the athletes who deposited blood with Fuentes have ever been properly identified, let alone punished for their nefarious plans to cheat in pro-cycling, but Valv. (Piti) is one of them – he’s coming back in 2012 after a 2 year ban. While I wouldn’t want to condone Valv (Piti) in his efforts to get an edge by cheating, there is a wider issue of justice.
What of the rest of the riders (and indeed athletes from other sports)? The Operacion Puerto investigation got dropped by the Spanish authorities – why should some riders get clobbered with a ban, while others get to ride off into the sunset of their careers, clutching their ill-gotten gains? The degree with which Fuentes appears to have been involved with the professional peloton is quite astonishing. Many riders must be quite relieved to have made it to the twilight of their careers without being unmasked as blood doping cheats.