Spanish ex-professional Jesús Manzano made a name for himself just over two years ago when, in a series of interviews with AS, he accused his former team Kelme of dangerous doping practices. All the allegations made by Manzano were subsequently dismissed by a Spanish court due to lack of evidence, but now they are coming back to the table, thanks to 'Operacion Puerto'. Cyclingnews spoke to Manzano about the current affair and his own thoughts on it.
'Operacion Puerto' is being conducted by the Central Operating Unit (UCO), the anti-drug trafficking arm of the Spanish Civil Guard, and has been in progress for four months, but made headlines on May 23 when five men, Eufemiano Fuentes, Jose Luis Merino, Jose Ignacio Labarta, Manolo Saiz and Alberto Leon, were arrested in Madrid by the UCO. The guard had found hormones and steroids, 200 packets of blood, products to manipulate it, machines to freeze it and material to perform transfusions in flats belonging to Eufemiano Fuentes and the clinic of José Merino Batres. In addition, the UCO also found a list of 200 names of athletes, including many riders and other top Spanish sportsmen. The whole case puts Manzano's 2004 accusations in new light.
Cyclingnews: What is your opinion about 'Operacion Puerto'?
Jesús Manzano: 'Operacion Puerto' is a satisfaction, because in the end what I announced on March 2004 became a reality. There are still some doctors over there free, but well, we will see. It is real what was said [back then], and a verification. It has been checked and it shows what I said in 2004 has happened again now. In this case, for me, it is satisfactory; for others it is not nice.
Click here for the full interview