After tests proved that blood bag #18 labeled Piti (after Valverde’s dog) was loaded with EPO, the Italian Olympic committee suspended Alejandro Valverde for two years. The ban prohibits him from racing in Italy and the Tour de France as one mountain stage enters Italy. Only Alejandro’s dog can save him now.
Yes, Alejandro is fighting mad, sputtering with rage, his lawyers ready to punch back. But we suggest a new dog-based defense. After all, a quick look at the legal record shows the folly of the traditional approach. Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton spent millions, lost big and ruined their careers. Aljeandro has to be more creative, more bold, more canine.
The key is not to deny. Yes, I went to Dr Fuentes; yes, I paid for EPO, but your honor, the performance-enhanced blood was not for me. It was for my sick dog, Piti. I jeopardized my career to save him. Talk about sympathy. What judge could convict a man with so much heart? Cycling fans would simply not allow it.
The “I love my dog” defense is surely more creative and likely to be more successful than the current approach of whining about obscure testing protocols. Hard to follow, too scientific, bores fans to death. Give us a better story than that.
Yes, Valverde would travel the world racing, leaving poor, terminally ill Piti alone at home, The guilt must have been overwhelming. He had to do something and there was this nice doctor Fuentes that Oscar Sevilla suggested. It was risky, dangerous, cynics might even think the EPO was for himself. That he was doing this to take unfair advantage in major stage races. But no, Alejandro would give the dog his own blood with the EPO in a last-ditched effort to save his beloved Piti.
This is not the act of a cheater but the ultimate sacrifice of a compassionate pet owner. We say put the dog on the stand. Let Piti save Alejandro.