In a remarkable show of restraint, Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme declined to lob a verbal grenade into the whole doping controversy. When asked by La Gazzetta dello Sport if Ivan Basso would be riding the Tour de France, Christian replied:
“Basso racing in the Tour de France. I know that all Italians are interested in this. It is a valid question but now I am not able to respond. We will see.”
Wow, refreshing. I think everything will come to a head around Basso. All other Operation Puerto riders have either left the sport or are riding on Continental teams and therefore out of the crosshairs being set up at the ProTour level. That leaves Basso as the one rider who also happens to be one of the top riders in the sport as the lone representative of Operation Puerto. Basso now holds the lightning rod for the whole botched effort.
It will be interesting to see if the UCI, WADA, and race organizers decide to take a pass on Operation Puerto in 2007 until they have more ammunition once the courts release the evidence. That would bring all that frustration Floyd Landis’ way where the feeling that he may provide a greater chance of success. And I’m sad to say that the only thing on the table is winning and losing. The search for the truth has long since died.