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Contador excused from Operacion Puerto testimony

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Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff)

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) (Image credit: Ricardo Romero Astorga /
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Vinokourov and Saiz at the team's official presentation on February 17, 2006

Vinokourov and Saiz at the team's official presentation on February 17, 2006 (Image credit: Team Liberty Seguros)

Alberto Contador will not be required to testify before the judge in the Operacion Puerto trial on Friday, as previously scheduled. The Saxo-Tinkoff rider was due to appear as a defense witness for his former directeur sportif Manolo Saiz, but the attorneys for Saiz waived their request.

Saiz is on trial for crimes against public health along with Eufemiano Fuentes, who ran a Madrid clinic that facilitated blood doping. Contador was scheduled to testify alongside Marcos Serrano and Angel Vicioso on Friday.

According to EFE, the attorneys for Saiz had already established what they had hoped to get from Contador. Ignacio Arroyo told reporters after today's session that he had not spoken to Contador's attorneys, but decided to waive his testimony because "the evidence we sought to establish with him has already been established."

Saiz was found in possession of large sums of money and medical products when detained as part of Operacion Puerto in 2006, while he was directing Liberty Seguros.

Maria de los Angeles Dal-Re, the former sub-director of the Spanish government's Medicine and Health Products Agency, testified today in the trial that she authorised Saiz to carry the products to the Tour de France.

The judge Julia Patricia Santamaria also announced today that the court has been unable to locate Vicioso to appear for his scheduled time on Friday. Vicioso's testimony was postponed from February 12 because he was suffering from back pain. The judge added that if the rider did not make himself available voluntarily that she would send security forces to bring him to court.