Criminal case to conclude by April 9
Eufemiano Fuentes, the physician at the center of the blood doping ring uncovered in the Spanish Civil Guard's Operación Puerto has now stated that he would be willing to give up his list of clients to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
According to a report in El Pais, that list includes 39 athletes, a number much smaller than what was speculated in the media based on the more than 200 blood bags uncovered in the 2006 raid on Fuentes' Madrid clinic and other locations.
"If they felt I was useful and they asked me, I would consider it and would be willing. What I don’t know is if what I would give them would be worthwhile to them or not," Fuentes said at today's hearing. "If, within this cooperation such a list was necessary, they would have it."
Fuentes, his sister Yolanda and three others are on trial in Spain for crimes against public health over the doping scheme, and are facing up to two years in prison if found guilty of the offence.
Upon leaving the courthouse, Fuentes took a moment to protest his innocence of the charges. “Everything which I did I did in accordance with the laws in place at the time. In 35 years I have not caused any harm to any patient. To regret having carried out my professional work as best as I could would not make any sense," he said.
Meanwhile, the UCI's attorney Pablo Jimenez de Parga, called for those involved to be made examples, and given harsh sentences for running "the biggest doping network not only in Spain, but possibly in the whole world."
"The time has come for everyone to know what kind of a response Spain gives to this kind of behaviour," Jiminez said. "The decision will be scrutinized outside our country, and not understanding this is to close your eyes to reality."
The prosecution has wrapped up its case with today's hearing, but the defense will still present its final arguments on Friday with statements from the attorneys for Vicente Belda and Ignacio Labarta and those for Manolo Saiz. The hearings will continue on April 2 after the Easter holiday with statements from the Fuentes' lawyers.
Should more time be needed to hear comments, the court has scheduled an additional date on April 9 to conclude the hearings.