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Luis León Sánchez suspended by Team Blanco

Michael Steele

Luis León Sánchez has been put on non-active status by his team Blanco, pending an internal investigation into his links to Operation Puerto. That is the brief news in De Telegraaf this morning. The spaniard who has been riding for Rabobank (the origin of Team Blanco) the last two seasons has been mentioned in the case before as he was riding on Liberty Seguros at the time. The manager of Liberty was Manolo Saiz who has been testifying in the Operation Puerto trial this week.

Earlier this week there was an anonymous quote from a DS at Blanco saying the re-signing of Sánchez had been a big mistake. The rumors and mentions of the spaniard in both Puerto and the Operation Galgo have not been any secret before though so the sudden suspension is probably a reflection of the change of climate in Holland. The pressure is on to clean house and the team probably need to clear out any questionmarks or the story is likely to keep haunting them until they do. With their main goal of finding a new sponsor this is not the type of stories they want to keep addressing all season so it makes sense to deal with it sooner rather than later. Sánchez is not under any current investigation from anti-doping agencies though as far as we know. This is entirely a team internal decision not to race the rider until questions have been answered.