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WADA left reeling after Operacion Puerto verdict

By:
Cycling News
Published:
May 01, 2013, 15:01 BST,
Updated:
May 01, 2013, 16:11 BST
Edition:
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.

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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.

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