Blanco suspends Luis Leon Sanchez after reports of Fuentes links

Spanish rider had also been named in USADA Reasoned Decision as one of Michele Ferrari's clients

by Simon_MacMichael   February 2, 2013  

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Blanco Pro Cycling has suspended Spanish rider Luis Leon Sanchez pending the result of an internal investigation into the rider after press reports linked him to Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor currently on trial in relation to Operacion Puerto.

In a statement, the Dutch WorldTour outfit, renamed after Rabobank pulled its sponsorship in December – the bank is however continuing to finance it for the 2013 season – said: "Team Blanco has started an investigation against rider Luis Leon Sanchez after stories in the media about his possible involvement in the case-Fuentes.

“Until there is clarity about the outcome of the investigation is Luis Leon Sanchez is not included in a selection of Blanco."

According to  a report on the website of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, blood bags codenamed ‘Huerto’ and number 26 seized in 2006 by Spanish authorities as part of the Operacion Puerto investigation relate to Sanchez.

In testimony from former Discovery Channel rider Volodymyr Bileka released when the United States Anti-Doping Agency published its Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong case last October, Sanchez was also named as one of 13 riders who attended a training camp on Tenerife in 2006 with the now banned doctor and trainer, Michele Ferrari.

A multiple Spanish national time trial champion, the 32-year-old from the Murcia region has won four Tour de France stages, the Clasica de San Sebastian twice, and also took the overall in the Tour Down Under in 2005 and Paris-Nice in 2009.

He rode for Liberty Seguros, the team at the centre of the Operacion Puerto scandal, from 2004 to 2006 and joined Caisse d’Epargne in 2007. In 2011, he moved to Rabobank.

7 user comments

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I kinda knew this was coming, but I like LuLu, so hoped it wouldn't. There will be more, don't worry about it....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 14:09

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I would like the names of footballers, athletes and tennis players to appear. I don't think this should only be cyclings problem, if its not.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1119 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 14:58

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
I would like the names of footballers, athletes and tennis players to appear. I don't think this should only be cyclings problem, if its not.

Its funny isnt it, how cycling has such a rife drug problem. Yet other sports just brush it under the carpet and say 'no drug problem here officer' and the press go 'oh OK then'

A joke. Name and shame ALL involved in the investigation, not just one or two cyclists.

Strax

jdstrachan@yahoo.co.uk's picture

posted by jdstrachan@yaho... [53 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 15:54

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There were records of over 200 clients of Fuentes, of which about 40 are cyclists - the Spanish judicial system only sees fit to investigate the cyclists - not the football players, athletes, tennis players and others. Unsurprisingly, the presiding judge has links to one of big Spanish football clubs!

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [360 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 16:36

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jdstrachan@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
I would like the names of footballers, athletes and tennis players to appear. I don't think this should only be cyclings problem, if its not.

Its funny isnt it, how cycling has such a rife drug problem. Yet other sports just brush it under the carpet and say 'no drug problem here officer' and the press go 'oh OK then'

A joke. Name and shame ALL involved in the investigation, not just one or two cyclists.

Take heart from the fact that, as disfunctional as the UCI and cycling in general appears to be as a sport its still probably 20 years ahead of the other major sports like Football and Tennis purely because it acknowledges its doping problem and is trying to fix it.

Acceptance is the first step on the path to fixing the problem.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 17:13

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Can't say I'm surprised. Agree with other posters though re other sports.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3099 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 17:47

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Read an article this morning in the Guardian about a boxer - Lamont Peterson - being busted for doping. Come on then, anyone else want to hold their hand up?

Let he who is without sin...

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [823 posts]
4th February 2013 - 14:20

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