The long awaited conclusion to the 2006 Operación Puerto is set to come to a head this week with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirming Madrid's Provincial Court prosecutor will publish its verdict on the appeals made by the UCI, Spain's Sports’ Council (CSD) and WADA, among others, into the April 2013, ruling by Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria to destroy 200 blood bags belonging to 35 professional cyclists and athletes found in Eufemiano Fuentes office during a 2006 police raid.
Santamaria's 2013 ruling also found Eufemiano Fuentes guilty of damaging public health, handing down a one-year suspended prison sentence and a four year ban from working as a doctor. Santamaria also ordered that all blood bags from Fuentes' office to be destroyed, a decision heavily criticised by WADA which then saw nine appeals lodged against the ruling.
The blood bags have been stored at the Biomedical Research Park in Barcelona following the 2013 ruling. According to a report last month in Spanish El País, the prosecutor had reached a decision in November last year with its verdict to take several weeks before publication.
It is unclear how WADA's ten-year statute of limitations for doping infractions, increased from eight years last year, will apply to the ruling and potential sanctioning of athletes. The anti-doping agency successfully appealed a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling this week into the sanction of 34-players at the Essendon AFL (Australian Football League) club for its 2012 supplements programme.
For a time line of Operación Puerto events since 2006, click here.