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Manzano: "Well-known footballers" also clients of Fuentes

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Ex-Kelme professional Jesus Manzano, the first rider to break the code of silence about a Spanish doping ring two years ago, told reporters on France 3 he saw well-known footballers (soccer players) from Spain's first division clubs visit the offices of doctor Eufemiano Fuentes', the man at the centre of the Operaciòn Puerto investigation.

"I saw well-known footballers, but I cannot say how many," said Manzano last Thursday evening on France 3, adding: "this doctor [Fuentes] takes care [of athletes] from all over the world. Manzano also affirmed deceased Italian cycling star Marco Pantani was one of Fuentes' clients.

Previously a little-known rider, Manzano participated in a series of in-depth interviews about alleged doping practices within his former Kelme team that were published in Madrid's sports newspaper As in March 2004.

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