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Dr. Fuentes Receives 1-year Sentence in Operación Puerto Scandal – Now Evidence to be Destroyed?

by John Symon

May 02, 2013 (Madrid, Spain) – Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who was at the center of the Operación Puerto doping scandal has received a one-year suspended sentence for performing blood transfusions, often in conjunction with banned substances, on top cyclists report AP, AFP, and Reuters. Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria found Fuentes guilty of endangering public health, barred him from medical practice in sports for four years and ordered the doctor to pay a fine.

Several top cyclists have been connected with the Puerto scandal, but Fuentes has testified that his clients also included athletes in football (soccer), tennis, boxing and athletics. For reasons that are poorly understood, only the names of the cyclists have been made public. Cyclists who have been implicated with the Puerto scandal include Ivan Basso, Jörg Jaksche, Michele Scarponi, Jan Ullrich and Alejandro Valverde.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) objected, however, to a controversial move by Santamaria to order the evidence destroyed. Over 100 bags of blood and plasma seized in the case are scheduled to be destroyed once appeals are heard. Santamaria justified her decision on this point by citing Spanish privacy laws.

A lawyer for the UCI is quoted as describing the Puerto case as “the biggest doping network the world has ever seen.” It is not clear, however, if the UCI is joining the IOC and WADA to condemn the destruction of evidence.


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