Operación Puerto figurehead Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes has given a curious presentation at the Rey Juan Carlos d' Aranjuez University, 70km south of Madrid, Spain where he has told students he would never advise anyone to dope. Fuentes was credited as the mastermind behind a complex sports doping ring by Spanish authorities in an investigation which has since been shelved.
"Doping is illegal in Spain, and I would never advise it to anyone," declared Fuentes.
Fuentes went on to share his belief that cycling isn't the only sport to have athletes doping. "In cycling there are many doping controls, but in other sports the same percentage of athletes dope as well," he said. "I don't understand then, why those other disciplines have so few doping cases."
"In the professional sports world, economics is at the forefront; because the athletes earn money from their sport," he explained. "They want to perform and succeed due to the intensity of the sport, injuries and muscle pain is part of the job."
Fuentes' comments come just over 12 months after the Spanish investigation broke, implicating some 56 cyclists in the elaborate ring, which utilised pet names in a complex code. "Initially, the riders want to recover quicker from the effort and to keep on top of their health," he said. "The pressure that the riders are under to perform, leads to the team doctors prescribing medicines that they normally would not."
The Puerto case broke with the arrest of Fuentes and then Liberty Seguros manager Manolo Saiz. More than 200 bags of blood and plasma were found, as well as steroids, EPO and growth hormones. Since then, high profile cyclists including Ivan Basso and most recently Jörg Jaksche have confessed to their involvement in the ring.