UCI to appeal decision to withhold Operacion Puerto blood bags

Governing body challenges Spanish court's decision not to provide access to doping case evidence

by Simon_MacMichael   May 10, 2013  

Syringe

Word cycling's governing body, the UCI, has said that it is to appeal the decision of a Spanish court not to release 211 blood bags and associated evidence seized as part of the Operacion Puerto case.

Last month, following the verdict in the trial which saw the doctor at the centre of the case, Eufemiano Fuentes, and former Kelme/Comunidad Valencia sports director Ignacio Labarta found guilty of offences against public health, the judge presiding over the trial, Patricia Santamaria, ordered evidence seized by the Guardia Civil in 2006 to be destroyed.

That decision provoked outcry both within Spain and abroad, with the country's national anti-doping agency, the AEA, saying that it was considering an appeal, as is the World Anti-Doping Agency.

In a brief statement issued this afternoon, the UCI confirmed that it is to appeal, and it is likely to be joined in that by other organisations.

Access to the blood bags would enable DNA matches to be made to individual riders, exactly as happend with Alejandro Valverde, who had not been sanctioned by the Spanish national cycling federation but eventually received a two-year worldwide ban after a sample taken form him in Italy was found to match the DNA in one of the Operacion Puerto blood bags.

While press attention at the time the Puerto case broke in 2006 focused on cycling, Fuentes himself has made it clear that cyclists only made up around one in three of his clients, saying that athletes he treated also included footballers, boxers and tennis players, among others.

 

6 user comments

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I've read that twice now.
So it seems that the UCI doesn't want the bags destroyed?

Hang on - I'll just read it one more time.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
10th May 2013 - 15:23

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Right I've read that again - seems the UCI want the bags tested?

Couldn't be right. The UCI issuing press releases that contain some common sense.

I'l go and check the date.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
10th May 2013 - 15:27

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No - it's not April 1st.

OK. Bravo UCI.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
10th May 2013 - 15:27

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So following widespread criticism for doing nothing at all, the UCI eventually do what's right. Pretty much par for the course. Needless to say Pat will use this as an example of his tireless crusade against dopers.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
10th May 2013 - 16:02

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Agree - my take is that he's weighed up the odds of succeeding, they seem low, so he makes the appeal and when it fails can say look 'we're doing all we can', whilst not actually doing anything at all. So, just more standard feeble UCI behavior.

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [211 posts]
10th May 2013 - 18:56

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If a sportsman/woman enters a sport and gains financially when they have agreed not to dope, then surely that is a fraud and so the judge is incorrect in ordering the bags destroyed because they are proof of many crimes.

the AEA, saying that it was considering an appeal

What's to consider? perhaps they are trying to decide how bent they are. Ditto WADA. FFS.

posted by kie7077 [451 posts]
11th May 2013 - 19:42

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