Operacion Puerto trial: Fuentes says he may co-operate with anti-doping authorities

Spanish doctor ready to name names as trial heads towards its conclusion

by Simon_MacMichael   March 21, 2013  

Syringe

Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto doping scandal, has stated that he may be prepared to assist anti-doping authorities, including providing the names of the athletes to whom the blood in bags taken by the police as part of the investigation belongs.

According to a report on Yahoo! Eurosport, Fuentes, who is currently on trial in Madrid on public health charges, told reports outside the court: "If they believe that I am useful and they ask me I would consider it and I would be ready.

"What I don't know is if what I could contribute would be worth anything to them or not," he went on, saying that he had a “mutual collaboration" in mind. "If they want my involvement to include the list they would have it."

While cycling has been the sport most under scrutiny in connection with the scandal ever since it broke in 2006, and a number of riders have provided testimony at the trial, Fuentes has always insisted that cyclists accounted for only three in ten of his clients.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has asked to be given access to the evidence, including blood bags, seized under the investigation, so far without success.

However, a lawyer for the Spanish government involved in the case said last week that blood samples, but not the bags themselves, would be released to WADA once the trial is over.

Fuentes and his co-defendants face penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment if found guilty, with closing statements due to begin on 2 April.

7 user comments

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I read a report yesterday that all Puerto blood bags are now accounted for so will be interesting to see which names come up and whether there's any surprises. Also, if Fuentes does start cooperating, there's going to be a lot of squeaky bottoms in the sporting world and not just in cycling.

posted by Sadly Biggins [263 posts]
21st March 2013 - 11:22

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Sounds like he is going to plea bargain to me; but yes SB I think there will be some squeaky bottoms. After seeing 'my' sport dragged through the mud it would be nice to see other cheating b's getting some publicity. But is still a sad day for sport in general that we have this sort of 'professional' cheating at all

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
21st March 2013 - 12:25

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Look forward to it. Of course every arm chair sportsman that's been sneering at cycling in the past when presented cheating in tennis, Footie, et al will no doubt say 'We knew of course and anyway - who cares?' Wink

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
21st March 2013 - 14:15

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I think it would be healthy if the proverbial hit the fan within other sports. Football, tennis, etc. need exposing. If a snooker player can gain an advantage from PED's (betablockers) then you can bet your bottom dollar that sports where success is so highly rewarded are at it as well.

The Arsenal team were given 'courage pills' as early as 1925, and cortisone enabled injured players to compete throughout the post-war era. Diuretics (Kolo Toure, Shane Warne) are the tip of the iceberg.

posted by Duncan Stone [6 posts]
21st March 2013 - 15:07

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I'll believe it when I see it, quite frankly. Think the Spanish authorities would rather the scandal just went quietly away.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2946 posts]
21st March 2013 - 15:58

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posted by kcr [58 posts]
21st March 2013 - 16:00

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Footballers may be involved with the blood bags, but I doubt that tennis will be dragged down as deeply. The evidence at the moment appears to be related to HGH and steroids.

However, if EPO is being used in Tennis is would appear to an interesting development. I figure something EPO has an effect on the top end of sporting activity. After all if you can produce your highest output and effort for a longer period before lactate sets in and inhibits power and energy production it allows you to sustain a level of effort at a higher level for longer. This sort of thing would explain why sprinters have changed their running style and able to break the new world records....but untraceable during competition, and especially without a blood test.

In fact I do not understand why blood testing is not more in depth and widespread. Having read 'The Death of Marco Pantani', it seems to me that evidence can easily be obtained to show abnormal blood values as a result of EPO abuse (though I would expect that mild and infrequent EPO abuse does not indicate the same level of variations and would be harder to detect - micro dosing being 'du jour' amongst the pro-peloton).

I think it is time that international sporting agencies and governments become aware of the major issues within sport and tackle the usage and developments that come about.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1086 posts]
22nd March 2013 - 14:29

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