Valverde’s credibility slips away

Valverde’s always been an interesting rider. He’s got a good position on the bike and is one of the rare riders in the bunch who can win a variety of races, from Liège-Bastogne-Liège to the Dauphiné Libéré to the Vuelta. But the Spaniard is under investigation for doping. This case has dragged on for a long time and he could get a world-wide ban any time soon.

On the one hand…
If banned I fear he could become a lightning rod for some. Don’t forget that if he is banned, it’ll make him the only Spaniard to get caught by Operacion Puerto and surely that’s not right? Yes it’s good for someone to face justice, however late, but it’s not satisfying when so many others remain untouched.

On the other hand…
But I’m not here to say life’s unfair for Valverde. Look at the car he drives, he’s been free to earn millions whilst massive question marks hang over him. And now he’s beginning to look like a fool. His legal defence doesn’t rest on claims of innocence, merely that the DNA from blood bag #18, labelled “Valv.Piti”, is inadmissible evidence and that his DNA is his private matter.

This is plainly ridiculous. Anti-doping prosecutions may rely on rules, law and due process but the strongest element is moral. It’s about right and wrong, good and bad. Hiding behind procedural matters only makes Valverde look shifty. He’s not shouting his innocence from the rooftops, he’s just trying to block the investigation. The more he does this, the more the aura of a champion will fade and he just looks like a greedy man trying to evade justice. I’m not naive enough to expect him to suddenly confess and take the ban but all the same, the more he speaks on the matter, the worse he looks. His credibility is slipping away.