reports that Alejandro Valverde has been accused (by the Spanish media) of implicating a team-mate as the owner of the Operacion Puerto blood bag  during his failed defence against the recent CAS blood doping case emanating from Operacion Puerto (Valverde Denies Naming Teammate In CAS Appeal |  Interesting, since according to the report, the blood bag was labelled “18 Valve. Piti”.  Now, who among the 2002 Kelme-Costa Blanca team could that label possibly correspond to?  Well, has a nice archive that generously lists the members of the 2002 squad:

Santiago Botero Echeverry
Francisco Cabello Luque
Juan Miguel Cuenca Martinez
Juan José De Los Angeles Segui
Isaac Galvez Lopez
Carlos Garcia Quesada
José Javier Gomez Gonzalo
Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez
Ignacio Gutierrez Cataluna
José Enrique Gutierrez Cataluna
Jose Cayetano Julia Cegarra
Francisco Leon Mane
Joaquin Lopez Torrella
Roberto Lozano Montero
Jesus Maria Manzano Ruano
David Munoz Bañóz
Leandro Navarrette
Gustavo Miguel Otero Gomez
Javier Pascual Llorente
Santiago Perez Fernandez
Jordi Riera Valls
Alexis Rodriguez Hernandez
Oscar Sevilla Ribera
Antonio Tauler Llull
Julian Usano Martinez
Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Angel Vicioso Arcos
José Angel Vidal Martinez
Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez

Now, just who in that gang would have their blood labelled “18 Valve. Piti”?  I mean, apart from the obvious.  Valverde’s legal team have denied that anything other than a general comment that the blood could have come from a team mate was made:

“Alejandro Valverde has never accused any rider forming part of the peloton and, as a consequence, what [has been] written in relation to that point is totally wrong,” read a statement released by representatives of Valverde on Sunday.

“Mr. Valverde’s lawyers limited themselves exclusively to defend the rider’s interests and they never made such accusations against the cyclist mentioned in the [Spanish] newspapers.”

I haven’t read the said Spanish newspapers, so I am not sure which of the riders listed above might be a likely target for the accusation, and aren’t saying – other than to say that the rider is still in the pro peloton.  If Valverde’s bizarre claim is true, and Dr Fuentes was liberally spreading false ID around the blood bags in his tender care, that represents another layer of dubious and dangerous practice in the doping scene.

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