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WADA left reeling after Operacion Puerto verdict

Cycling News
May 1, 2013, 14:01,
May 1, 2013, 15:11
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 1, 2013
WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.

WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.

  • WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
  • Eufemiano Fuentes arrives to a mob of press at the Madrid court

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Agency may join appeal to keep blood bags

The World Anti-Doping Agency has criticised the judge’s decision to destroy blood bags still stored from the Operacion Puerto case. Over 200 blood bags remain with only a small percentage of the athletes involved having already been brought to justice.

"WADA has carefully considered the decision rendered by the Criminal Court in Madrid in relation with the Operation Puerto," the agency's director general, David Howman, said on WADA’s website.

"The decision to order the destruction of all the blood bags is particularly disappointing and unsatisfactory for WADA, and the whole anti-doping community," he said.

Although the judge has ordered that all material from the case be destroyed the Spanish Anti Doping Agency (AEA) has already said that they will appeal the decision on a separate case hearing. WADA have opened the possibility of joining the claim.

On Tuesday the case, which centred around public health and not the doping of athletes, came to an end, bringing an end to an investigation that was sparked in 2006 and saw cycling rocked to his very core.

Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the storm was handed a one-year suspended sentence but was banned from practicing medicine for four years. In his opening statement during the trial he denied doping but stated that his clients included athletes from a variety of sports including boxing and soccer.

"Access to this evidence motivated WADA's involvement in this case,” Howman said.

"This would ensure appropriate sports sanction processes against the cheats who used Dr Fuentes's services."

"WADA is currently fully reviewing the decision and any possible appeal or other action with its Spanish legal advisors, and the Spanish National Anti-Doping Organisation (AEA)," he said, adding that the appeal deadline was May 17.

Steveo More than 1 year ago
That Doc must have made a fortune to have been able to pay off a Judge...
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
he did make boatloads of money... but I'm guessing that all the death threats and intimidation from fans of Real Madrid soccer club which likely include criminal elements as well might have convinced her to rule the way she did... I don't really think that even the Spanish really care if a bunch of cyclist go down.. at least not the top ones... but not their soccer clubs..
ceramiccyclist More than 1 year ago
I can't think of any other motivation to convince the judge to order the destruction of evidence can you?
Rae N. More than 1 year ago
Umm yeah. Remember Xavi Tondo and his accident.
djconnel More than 1 year ago
Indeed. How many football players went down in this incident, despite copious evidence? Err.... Moral is if you dope, dope with football players because they've got the connections.
REDLANTERN More than 1 year ago
effort is in vain. Blood is gone. DNA is gone. Ledgers are gone Real Madrid is quite literally worth about 3 BILLION U.S. dollars. Think a few blood bags are going to bring them down? Fat chance
Motophoto11 More than 1 year ago
They just need to ban all spanish dopers.. I mean sports teams.... how cowardly and pathetic but not unexpected...Spain is a laughing stock...
iride712 More than 1 year ago
This is not just a problem with Spanish authorities, rather endemic of all jurisdictions and sporting federations. USA, France, UK, etc etc. Unfortunately cycling is the "whipping boy" for anti-doping movements whilst the bigger sports go unpunished. REPEATEDLY! The efforts of Tygart et al are lauded and ridiculous comments of "most sophisticated doping program in sport" get bandied around and regurgitated...even by cyclists themselves. That Puerto has been kicking around since 2006 just highlights how prevalent doping is throughout ALL sports. Once again, the sacrificial lamb that is cycling was given the penalty. I sometimes would rather just turn a blind eye to it all rather than have to constantly see cycling getting taken down and imploding. If WADA, Spain, Tygart et al are truly serious about cleaning things up, then you MUST go after the bigger fishes with equal measure as cyclists!!!
bikerbruce More than 1 year ago
Spot on. Thank you.
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Totally agree. Open the blood bags, and let´s see what´s in there. But wait, how can Puerto be the biggest doping ring? I thought it was Lance? I am confused. Waaaaaaiiiit a minute! I get it! It´s all posturing and platitudes. Let´s open those bags, and watch the euro football players go bezerk. Puerto was hardly an all-Spanish affair. I am sure the remaining bags aren´t all Spaniards. But I bet there are some huge money interests behind it. All it takes is opening the bags and doing the DNA testing. That´s it. Get it done.
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
Stop going on about Lance Armstrong. Whatever the article, you come up with a comment about him. I don't know what the motivation is, but it seems suspicious. Most of us are not obsessed with Armstrong. He's discredited, and better forgotten. Give it a rest.
rainwatrz More than 1 year ago
And finally, all these comments agree on something. This points to an entire culture of corruption or is it the other way around? It appears to confirm what were once called conspiracy nut theories that the higher one climbs any pyramid the less people there are who know lots more.
Chemainiac More than 1 year ago
Spain is a joke.....this proves the institutionalized nature of their problem.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
Been all said above.....sad
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Also proves something I have observed for a very long time.. It appears that the only people who are really concerned about doping in sports are the english speaking spectators for the more individual sports like cycling and track & field.. Even the French only seem worried when it is a foreigner winning their race...