Fuentes reported as threatening to reveal doping in football
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Fuentes reported as threatening to reveal doping in football

by Shane Stokes at 3:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Spanish doctor claims innocence, then makes what may be a veiled threat

It’s not directly related to cycling, but controversial doctor Eufemiano Fuentes may be attempting to prevent investigators from digging too deeply into his affairs by threatening to reveal all about Spanish sport.

Fuentes was arrested last Thursday as part of the Operación Galgo (Operation Greyhound) raids. During his time in custody, Fuentes reportedly hinted to another prisoner that any confession by him would have major consequences. “If I said what I know, goodbye to the World Cup and European Championship,” he is reported to have told his cellmate, a youth from the area who is frequently in and out of jail.

Spain won football’s World Cup earlier this year, and took the UEFA European championship two years ago. The country became world number one for the first time in July 2008.

Fuentes statement – which may be a veiled threat - is interesting, as there is a widespread perception that the Operación Puerto investigation revealed only doping in cycling because there were efforts made to protect bigger, more powerful sports. Fuentes was accused by certain areas of the media of having worked with four major football clubs in Spain, and also with a prominent Spanish tennis player.

He appeared to welcome these associations, saying after his May 2006 arrest that cyclists represented only a small part of his total client base, and that he treated those in the world of football, athletics, basketball and tennis. When the investigation into those other sports cooled, it was claimed that there was little political will to dig deeply into what are multi-million euro industries with considerable influence.

UCI President Pat McQuaid said on several occasions that other sports were involved, yet nobody outside cycling was ever sanctioned or suspended for working with the doctor.

The above quote was reported today by El Mundo. Journalists from Marca also spoke with the youth, and he told them that Fuentes had initially denied any involvement with doping matters before making his comment about football.

The Spanish police reported on Friday that they had him under surveillance since last April. He was amongst six people who were charged yesterday, then released. A date for the trial has not been set.

At this point in time, there has been little link to professional cycling. Time will tell if there is any involvement outside athletics, be it soccer, cycling or other sports.

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