600,000 Euro in damages for Fuentes
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

600,000 Euro in damages for Fuentes

by Ben Atkins at 10:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping

A court in Valencia has awarded Eufemiano Fuentes, the notorious doctor at the centre of the Spanish doping ring uncovered in Operación Puerto, damages amounting to 600,000 Euro. Fuentes was employed as team doctor for the Comunidad Valenciana team between the years 2003 and 2006 and apparently received no payment at all during that time. According to Spanish media, Fuentes has successfully sued his former employer, and the party has five days to appeal the decision.

As the payment is in respect of the period 2003-2006 it is for the period before the doping scandal broke. On May 23rd 2006 Fuentes was arrested by the Guardia Civil and over 100 bags of frozen blood belonging to athletes were found in his Madrid clinic. Paperwork was also seized, listing details of the blood doping regimes of more than 200 athletes, only around 50 of those names and codenames were related to cyclists but so far no other sport has acted.

Very few cyclists were actually sanctioned after the scandal – Ivan Basso being the most prominent name – but a number of careers were either severely curtailed or ended altogether, including 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich, who continues to deny involvement. Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) claimed to have proved a that some of the blood seized belonged to current Vuelta a España champion Alejandro Valverde, but the 2 year ban that it imposed currently only applies in Italy.

Fuentes was not found to have broken any existing laws and so escaped sanction. He is currently living in the Canary Islands where he has resumed his career as a gynaecologist.


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