A World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) appeal to the Constitutional Court of Spain for legal safeguards against repercussions were it to release the names of athletes involved in the Operation Puerto anti-doping case has failed, according to a report in AS.
Last month, the names of the athletes whose blood was seized by Spanish authorities in 2006 as part of Operacion Puerto seemed set to be made public after a court in Madrid authorised the release of blood bags to CONI, the Italian national Olympic Committee.
CONI declined to accept the bags.
El Pais reports that after matching DNA samples, Wada has managed to identify seven athletes – four of whom are still active. However, it is reluctant to make the names public.
According to the organisation’s director of intelligence and investigations, Günter Younger, quoted in InsideTheGames.biz, doing so would risk law suits as the evidence is not linked to ‘live’ investigations.
"The problem is with the statute of limitations we cannot really use it to prosecute them. Therefore Wada has asked a data protection expert to give us advice on what actually we can do with the result of the investigation.”
A final court decision on the matter is expected in May.