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Just Go . . .

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Away.

That's my reaction to the unsurprising news of Alejandro Valverde's suspension.  Here's CN's brief report, of which more will certainly follow: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2009/may09/may11news3

People can (and will, that's mostly what this post is for) debate the various issues related to this.  I want to make my position clear:  after going through the Hamilton and Landis imbroglios and deducing the following take-away message--suck it up, they doped and the tests worked and were administered efficiently enough, I have little patience for the sorts of 'tranquillo" defenses proffered by Valverde.  (It doesn't help matters that Arne Baker's "defense" of Landis is rife with red-herring arguments AND that he was responsible for planting false information about AFLD).

Granted much of the evidence against Valverde is circumstantial--but it is worth mentioning that he has been pointed out as tainted ever since Jesus Manzano first went public about the systematic doping program at Kelme.  Subsequent events have done nothing but corroborate the basic outlines and, in many cases, the particulars of Manzano's allegations. 

So . . . as more information appears, we'll be sure to add it in, but my initial position is clear: Valverde's suspension is LONG over-due.