Luxembourg?s Frank Schleck is the latest rider to be linked to Operacion Puerto as doping investigations again began to cast a long shadow over the world championships in Varese on Saturday.
Sixth in the Tour de France this year and the winner on Alpe D?Huez in the same race in 2006, Schleck has admitted that he is going to meet the Luxembourg anti-doping authorities, but is adamant he has done nothing wrong.
However reports in Germany newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and other media have said Schleck?s name has emerged in connection with the Operacion Puerto doping scandal in Spain.
Schleck is due to compete in Sunday?s road-race in Varese, alongside brother Andy but the UCI and the Luxembourg are expected to decide later today if he can ride because of the investigation.
?I haven?t done anything wrong in my career as a professional cyclist, I haven?t doped and I have no intention of doing so.? Schleck said.
?I will explain these matters to the Luxembourg authorities in due course. My conscience is clear.?
The shadowed gathered over Schleck on Friday night after Italian police searched the Luxembourg team hotel. According to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper, at least 15 officers from the Italian NAS, the police responsible for doping and drugs investigations, searched the hotel from eight o?clock in the evening until four thirty in the morning. It is unsure if anything was taken away.
CSC team manager Bjarne Riis fully backed his rider?s claims, saying that they had talked to Frank Schleck and that he had ?confirmed that he hasn?t done anything wrong, hasn?t violated any anti-doping rules, and has not had the intention of doing so.?
?We respect and understand his desire to explain himself fully to the Luxembourg anti-doping committee and we will follow the case from there on.?
While the racing continues on Saturday with the women?s road race, a lot of attention is now on Schleck and whether he will be allowed to race on Sunday.
|ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008|
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Men’s time trial, by Luc Claessen
Women’s time trial, by Graham Watson
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2007 World Champs: Women’s road race
2008 WORLD CHAMPS GUIDE
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