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Operación Puerto doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes to give rare interview

Eufemiano Fuentes was at the center of Operacion Puerto
(Image credit: AFP Photo)

Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the centre of the Operación Puerto doping scandal, has talked about the role he played in doping athletes from cycling and other sports in a television interview that will be broadcast next Sunday evening.

Fuentes indicated he first began doping athletes as far back as before the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He claims he was told to improve performance without causing any problems. 

"I don’t want positives, I want results," Fuentes said he was told during a promotional teaser video of the Lo de Évole show. 

Journalist Jordi Évole asked: "Do you think some people could be nervous about what you say?"

"That’s almost certain," Fuentes said.

Asked: "Did you dope?", Fuentes replied: "Define doping."

Asked: "Were you cheating?", Fuentes said: "Yes, and I don’t know anyone who wasn't."

When police raided Fuentes' medical studio in Madrid in 2006, a few weeks before that year’s Tour de France, they discovered dozens of blood bags only identified by code names and eventually revealed a complex blood-doping cartel that had been operating for years across Europe. 

It was one of the biggest doping scandals in the history of the sport and confirmed that doping continued long after the Festina Affair of 1998.

Fuentes was eventually found guilty of endangering public health in 2013 in a Spanish court and given a one-year suspended sentence but the impact on professional cycling was much bigger, with the likes of Ivan Basso, Tyler Hamilton, Jan Ullrich, Alejandro Valverde, eventually linked to Fuentes. 

Some of them were identified by the names of their dogs which were used as their code names by Fuentes. 36 athletes were eventually linked to Fuentes via DNA testing but many would never be named and punished due to the drawn-out legal process and a 10-year statute of limitations under the WADA code and sporting law.  

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