Top Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has given his own opinion on the idea of a Truth & Reconciliation commission to address the widespread doping in the 90’s.
According to a team source, the runner-up in this year’s Vuelta a Espana is 50-50 on the proposal. “Alejandro likes the reconciliation part but he is not so excited about the truth part,” said Miguel Comodin, a spokesman for the Movistar squad. “He supports the forgiveness, that is a good thing — not that he has done anything wrong. However he sees no need for truth.”
This season Valverde returned from a two-year suspension for his involvement in the infamous Operacion Puerto blood doping ring in Spain. While never testing positive, the rider was sanctioned based on DNA matches to several of the seized blood bags.
Speaking with Spanish newspaper Marca, Comodin made it clear that what bothers Valverde is the truth component of the proposal. “Alejandro told me that if reconciliation means no more investigators digging into his past, or journalists asking him about illegal drugs, then he is all for that. For him, the truth is a needless complication.”
Valverde’s half-hearted support did not impress former WADA chief Dick Pound, the man who had put for the idea of a Truth and Reconciliation commission. “I think he’s missing the point.” said Pound. “You don’t get one without the other, it’s a box set. You don’t get something for nothing.”
The Spanish Cycling Federation also has serious issues with the Truth component of the proposal. “This is a pointless addition. We do not understand it,” said Rafael Navarro, vice president of the federation. “Why this insistence on truth when the reconciliation is what matters? If is like pouring gasoline into the sangria. Yes, you can do it, but why? You have ruined the sangria.”