Like the Phoenix, Operation Puerto rises from the ashes

April 30, 2007


I guess Hollywood is not the only one in love with a sequel. The boys from Spain are at it again. Let’s call it Operation Puerto 2: Blood is thicker than water. First, Jan Ullrich was found to have bags of blood in possession of Dr. Fuentes. This past week we have seen the FedEx Bio division really busy. First Birillo /Rider 2’s blood is off to Italy to be tested against Ivan Basso’s DNA sample. Now it is being reported that shipments are heading for Germany and the USA.

La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that 49 new riders are being implicated in Operation Puerto 2. My limited knowledge of Hollywood math says that sequels generally do 80% of the box office take of its predecessor. Seeing how Operation Puerto 1 took in 58 riders, 49 is pretty good. The star power of the sequel is a little less than the original. The original had Jan and Ivan. The sequel has Tyler Hamilton and Jorge Jaksche.

If you remember OP1, Tyler had a cameo role as Rider 4142. He returns to reprise his role with a twist. He is also blood bag #11. Poor Jaksche is in a rehash of the lovable German played by Jan in the original. No cool numbers or animal nick names.

Anyway, back to the story. OP2 has given all the evil villains a chance to return for more hand rubbing, cat petting, evil laughing (cue ominous music). The Grand Tours, ASO (with their mini-mes Unipublic and RCS Sport), and WADA are falling over themselves to get to a microphone to be the first to suspend Hamilton and his 48 counterparts. Didn’t they watch the first movie? The villains were undone by using the weapon “Trial by media” too early. When the smoke cleared, they had no counter attack. Oh well.

Here is where I draw the line. If Basso’s DNA matches, bounce him. I like him quite a bit but you know what they say in the movies. “It’s nothing personal, just business.”

For Tyler’s case, unless they find something against him post Olympics 2004, drop it. The man did his time. We just now know how he did it. It may irk some that he never came clean (pun intended) but hey that’s life. Deal with it. Many a person has gone to the joint professing their innocence. After they are released, you can’t retry them just because you have more evidence on the same case.