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John Fahey (right) with former WADA President Dick Pound
Eventual release of evidence still possible, WADA confident riders will be caught
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey says his agency is “very frustrated” at the latest refusal by a Spanish court to turn over evidence gathered during Operación Puerto.
The Provincial Court of Madrid on Friday dismissed an appeal from the WADA and the International Cycling Union (UCI) to release the blood bags taken into custody during the investigation, which could have led to the identification of further riders involved in the case.
While some Spanish media reports indicated earlier that this was the final possible appeal in the case, later reports indicated that the court only said that the material could not be released while the legal process was underway. This could indicate that the evidence might be released when the Spanish investigation is finished.
"WADA continues to be very frustrated by the slow wheels of Spanish justice in this case," Fahey said in a statement, according to the Reuters news agency. “We continue to emphasise that the evidence gathered by law enforcement during the investigation needs to be preserved for sharing with sport and anti-doping authorities."
Fahey concluded, "Although we are frustrated, we remain optimistic that proper outcomes still await those athletes - and any member of their entourage - who might have been cheating."