Eugenio Bermudez, the secretary general of the Spanish Cycling Federation, was acquitted earlier this week of leaking information from the Operación Puerto investigation, AS reported Wednesday. The decision ends a lawsuit brought by members of the 2006 Liberty Seguros/Astana Wurth squad Aitor and Unai Osa, David Etxebarria, Giampaolo Caruso, Isidro Nozal, Joseba Beloki, Javier Ramirez Abeja, Allan Davis and Jörg Jaksche.
The riders of the then Liberty Seguros team were banned from the 2006 Tour de France after the Operación Puerto case erupted with the arrest of its directeur sportif Manolo Saiz and four other people in May, 2006. The authorities raided the clinic of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, uncovering hundreds of bags of stored blood and transfusion equipment along with performance enhancing drugs.
Jaksche later confessed to having been helped by Fuentes to blood dope, but five of the team, including Beloki, Nozal and Davis were cleared of any involvement in the affair by the the Spanish courts. However, the damage done by the information which was leaked to the press ended the career of Beloki, who could no longer find a team. It also threatened to keep Allan Davis out of competition when the UCI tried to ban him from the World Championships.
The judge also backed former Spanish Superior Council of Sports director general Rafael Blanco, who was accused by former Liberty Seguros manager Manuel Saiz of "prevarication, falsification of documents and revealing secrets."
Saiz blamed Blanco for forwarding documents to the Spanish Cycling Federation, which in turn sent them along to the International Cycling Union (UCI). He also claimed that the documents which reached the UCI were not identical to those from the court, and had some paragraphs deleted.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto