Operación Puerto appeal denied
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Operación Puerto appeal denied

by Conal Andrews at 8:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

The possibility of further sanctions being imposed in the Operación Puerto case has taken a blow with the news that the Provincial Court of Madrid has rejected appeals relating to the case.

WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI and the Spanish Cycling Federation appealed an earlier decision announced in April by the magistrate concerned not to disclose the testimony of the proceedings, as well as samples from the blood bags seized during the May 2006 raids.

They had hoped to secure this evidence in order to further ascertain who was involved in the case. Some limited DNA testing was performed in 2007, and this proved that Jan Ullrich was involved in doping practices.

Similar examinations could have been compared with blood samples taken from riders and thus more matches could have been made.

However, according to Spanish media sources today, that appeal has now been dismissed, thus appearing to allow the riders and athletes concerned to escape punishment.

A rumoured 200 sportsmen and women from disciplines such as cycling, tennis, soccer and basketball were thought to have been involved in the doping practices run by Dr Eufemiano Fuentes. Many cyclists were implicated, although few have ever been sanctioned, while no investigations were carried out into the other sports involved.

The judge in the case, Antonio Serrano, has been criticised for appearing to impede the investigation. While doping of athletes wasn’t a criminal offence at the time, little effort has been made by the Spanish authorities to apply sporting sanctions to those who had doped. This has furthered allegations of a cover-up concerning some of the bigger sports.

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