Spanish judges have decided to delay oral testimony in Operacion Puerto until 2011, five years after the May 2006 raid on Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes’s doping ring. Five years. As Velonews points out, “many of the 50 riders implicated will be retired by the time the Spanish court makes a ruling.”
Is there in fact a functioning legal system in Spain? You have to wonder what the judges do there all day. Wake up, coffee, few rounds of tapas, postpone all cases a year, go home.
Spain is the drug of choice if you’re doping. The UCI and WADA are suing the Spanish Cycling Federation over its total unwillingness to sanction, suspend or open any meaningful proceedings against hometown hero Alejandro Valverde.
UCI President Pat McQuaid put it this way: “There are a lot of Spanish riders involved and they obviously want their careers to be over before this comes up. It is scandalous, but there is nothing we can do about it.”
Somewhere O.J Simpson is wishing he’d been tried in a Spanish Court. We’d still be waiting for a verdict and O.J, would be running around waving a bloody glove and golfing. The Simpson trial — the longest in California history — ran a mere 134 days. Four months and change. Compare that to the five years for Operacion Peurto — that’s sixty months.. Staggering, embarrassing, wrong.
Spanish Judge Antonio “slowpoke” Serrano has tried to close the case twice without filing charges. For what possible reason? Is he Alejandro Valverde’s cousin? Is he still finishing his night classes in Judging 101? Is he afraid of all that blood in those 200 bags? An appeals court is forcing him to hear testimony — this is one hard working judge.
Again, Mr. McQuaid hit the nail on the head, saying, “We have said from the beginning that the Spanish authorities didn’t really want to get to the bottom of this.”
Apparently, evidence from computer files, cell phones and bank accounts hasn’t even been examined. The mind reels. Again, if you were O.J Simpson, you’d been thinking, “man, I like that dude Valverde. They’re never gonna nail him.” Simpson is shaking his head — “why didn’t I invite Nicole to Spain and kill her?” Put Simpson’s lawyer Johnnie Cochran in a Spanish court and he’d have had a field day.
Operacion Puerto drags on. So far the only ruling is that the Spanish court system is confusing and glacial.