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Ex-pro arrested in dope ring sting in Spain

Pete Cossins
January 23, 2013, 13:30,
January 23, 2013, 13:32
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Monies allegedly received by Fuentes and his co-workers, plus some of the costs incurred by the network.

Monies allegedly received by Fuentes and his co-workers, plus some of the costs incurred by the network.

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Spanish police turn up large quantities of doping products after year-long operation

Police in the Spanish city of Murcia have broken up a doping ring that had been both producing and distributing products including plasma, clenbuterol, testosterone and anabolic steroids. Among the four people arrested by police following a year-long investigation was former pro rider José Luis Martínez.

The 33-year-old was a professional between 2001 and 2006, starting out with Jazztel before moving on to Paternina and Comunitat Valenciana. His career was effectively ended when the Comunitat Valenciana team was heavily implicated in Operation Puerto in 2006.

According to reports on the La Sexta Noticias TV network and in El País, the arrests took place in an industrial unit in Murcia. As well as large quantities of doping products, Spanish police also found machinery to manipulate blood and other devices used in the manufacture of some of the medicines seized

The investigation started when police were tipped off about Martínez’s activities at the Vuelta a España, where he worked as a dope control chaperone for the past two years. The role required him to accompany riders selected for drug testing from the moment they finished racing until they had presented themselves at the control point for drug testing. Witnesses informed police that Martínez had been acting suspiciously. Police initiated an investigation and were able to establish that the ring was distributing counterfeit doping products to gyms and weight-training centres.

Back in 2006, Martínez put out a press release insisting that during his three years with Comunitat Valenciana he had had no relationship with Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the Puerto investigation. El País points out, however, that his name features on a list found among Fuentes’ papers that laid out plans for transfusions to be carried out on 11 riders who had been pre-selected for the 2005 Vuelta. In the end, Martínez was not selected to ride.

Since leaving professional cycling, Martínez has studied nutrition and nursing. According to El País, he has provided former pro colleagues with advice on nutrition.

nasley More than 1 year ago
Again I repeat: I got an idea to END this... if a rider gets caught cheating, the TEAM DIRECTOR gets kicked!!! If that's applied won't he desperately make sure everyone in the team is riding clean? Won't they fight hard to develop new strategies to avoid doping? And we also solve the 'crooked director' problem. Another version could be this, a rider gets caught, THE WHOLE TEAM gets kicked!!! I like this one a lot since every rider will have to watch everyone else in the team VERY carefully.... Tell me guys isn't that a good idea??? You could call it the Nasley Policy... Also there could be an imposed penalty fee for the SPONSOR of a meaningful amount so they also get involved and may be accounted for, but not so much they leave the sport. This way EVERYBODY is tied and stretched, no one will want to snap the net. They will all be held responsible, so they’d better watch each other closely. Since it is a team work to win races, why not make it a team work to be penalized? I think it is very logical and will also promote greater union inside teams... IT CAN BE THE SOLUTION THE THIS WHOLE MESS!
gregod More than 1 year ago
your ideas, while well-intentioned, are unfortunately not legal.
nasley More than 1 year ago
Help me understand why not gregod..
enCYCLOpedia More than 1 year ago
This kind of sanction has been proposed many times before, and of course, it is legal: while it would not be legal to ban a team member individually, it would be perfectly legal to set up the contracts so that a team of which one member is found doping is excluded from an event. It's not happening, of course, because teams don't like it, and the event organizers don't like it either. Imagine the Yellow jersey being pulled from the Tour, because a domestique ranked 67th is caught. It would be a really strong deterrent, of course, but not in the interest of the Tour, the teams, or the sponsors.
Andrew H More than 1 year ago
If the UCI were serious about ending doping these are the types of rule changes you would see. Instead they are content to trot out the same old myth: doping was bad in the past and we are in a new clean age. That is what we were told through Lance's era while looking back on the 1990s. Now we repeat the same lie to ourselves for this decade. If the whole team (including the sponsors and DS) benefit when I dope and only I get punished when I get caught then what kind of pressure do you think is going to be placed on each individual rider?
Rae N. More than 1 year ago
Punishing the sponsor would likely just = no sponsors
Spammyride More than 1 year ago
Is this the same clenbuterol that taints meat?
Gary Lee More than 1 year ago
I have an expert we can ask. Let me look up his name on my rolodex... Canto, Cantani, Condiff, Constance, there it is, Contador, Alberto! Be right back! ;)
RidemanRide100 More than 1 year ago
No, just beef and Spanish cyclist.
cyclemike66 More than 1 year ago
He was the guy that escorted riders to doping control? You’ve got to be kidding me. Anybody who thinks that pro cycling is cleaning up is living in a dream world. The corruption runs so deep and it is so entangled that it will never be fully realized or exposed.
Rae N. More than 1 year ago
The fact that the randomly selected riders and managers are notified before the end of the race that they will be tested is a problem. They have plenty of time to ingest a masking agent (if there is one) before the finish. And of course you've probably noticed that the riders are less than cooperative with the escorts.
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
Let's see... Another rider no longer in the mix is busted. Glad to see that only former riders are currently involved in doping... NOT!!!
Rae N. More than 1 year ago
He can't admit too much, he might end up like Xavi Tondo.
DrDavidE More than 1 year ago
The Vuelta last year was joke, I mean how obvious can you get? Doping is rife in Spain and always has been, ever since the 80s, and probably before. What hope does cycling have?
Plodder More than 1 year ago
Spot on! Taking nearly five minutes out of Froome on a fairly flat stage, who do they think they are kidding.
lil Takito More than 1 year ago
Why not blood test them while they ride? They do other stuff while they ride.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
The other side that this article shows is that the money behind the PED suppliers and the whole PED industry ensures that they stay one step ahead in keeping their customers "Happy". Much like the computer hackers and such, the good guys are always "Chasing" the bad guys. The Good guys are not as inventive as the bad guys. Also, what does this say about the Reasoned Decisions assumption that the USPS management ran "The Most Sofisticated and Elaborate" doping regime ever seen in sport? How much more sofisticated was USPS' system to Fuentes and the WHOLE regime uncovered by Operation Puerto? Forget just the cyclists caught, What about the National Football tema and tennis players that were originally implicated and then removed from the investigatiion?
LaBici More than 1 year ago
Spaniards are low-life dopers! not to be trusted .. they should all be banned from ANY UCI events. ;-)
Plodder More than 1 year ago
Looks like the sh**t is going to hit the Fandango.