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Fuentes & Madrid 2020

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This is far, far more serious for Madrid's bid than a few silly words from Tokyo's governor are for the Japanese bid. It deserves its own thread. A Spanish judge has decided to order the destruction of evidence of past doping offences by Spanish athletes. WADA are miffed. What must the IOC be thinking?

"Spanish court, holding blood bags that could incriminate many athletes, orders they must be destroyed. Appalling. In Spain cheats do prosper"


Eufemiano Fuentes saga grows as Wada urge appeal against Spanish court’s decision to destroy evidence

Anti-doping authorities both in Spain and worldwide are hopeful an appeal can be lodged against a Spanish court’s order that evidence in the case of controversial doctor Eufemiano Fuentes must be destroyed.

Fuentes, who specialises in sports medicine and boasted several top cyclists among his clients has been given a one-year suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of engendering public health by giving blood transfusions to riders to aid their performance.

But Fuentes has escaped further punishment and Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria said that evidence seized ahead of the 11-week trial should be destroyed.

They include blood bags and documents that were found in the doctor’s clinic, which could prove hugely damaging to top athletes in a range of sports – with Fuentes claiming during the trial he had also worked with runners, footballers and boxers.

The court’s verdict has dismayed anti-doping organisations who hoped to use the evidence to uncover other drugs cheats, and sources in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) hope the Spanish anti-doping body will be able to appeal against the decision.

Former rider Jesus Manzano, a plaintiff in the case who sought compensation from Fuentes and others for allegedly endangering his life, claimed the verdict was far too lenient.

‘For this kind of verdict you don’t even need to study to become a judge,’ he said. ‘They’ve just made me waste another day of work.’

Fuentes, 58 , who was also struck off the medical register, kept identities hidden by using a nickname system in his clinic, but it’s thought that police were close to cracking it.

Some 211 blood bags from 35 different people were seized as part of Operacion Puerto when Spanish police raided Fuente’s laboratory in 2006.


Edited by RobH
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Eufemiano Fuentes, the main accused from the Operación Puerto doping trial.

Of course cheats do prosper in Spain, and this is nothing compared to other cases. I don't know if this will affect Madrid 2020, but if it helps to reveal a bit more of our corrupt system, I'm fine with it.

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"Hopefully the IOC will make some 'strong feelings' known about the Puerto bloodbags. Madrid 2020 anyone?"


Well, Rogge said recently he was annoyed at how long it was taking for the outcome of this to be reached. But surely this wasn't the outcome he or the IOC would've wanted? And if the Spanish anti-doping agency loses their appeal against the blood-bags being destroyed, WADA will be pushing heavily against Spain being awarded anything, let alone an Olympics.

Madrid already had an uphill task without upsetting athletes and WADA. There are respected athletes on Twitter like Paula Radcliffe and Matthew Pinsent who are not happy, and journalists who are quick to see that this kind of reaction is the last thing Spain needs whilst its bidding for an Olympics. This could envelope Madrid pretty quickly, and I don't know how they can respond.

This feels like it could really be a bid-killer to me.

Edited by RobH
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The fact that they're hurrying to erase the evidence makes me think that there might be some very important athletes involved. I mean, I don't think they would mind revealing the name of a runner, for example, but if it was a top footballer, it would surely be different.

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"Hopefully the IOC will make some 'strong feelings' known about the Puerto bloodbags. Madrid 2020 anyone?"

This feels like it could really be a bid-killer to me.

You might be right. While it is easy to write this one of as *non bid specific* unlike Tokyo's blunder, which was very explicit, I agree with you that this would have a far more serious impact on Madrid's chances than any words from a Japanese nationalist crazy - especially when you consider that the VOTING BODY of the IOC consists of former athletes themselves, many of whom are vastly open and critical of doping.

And again, Istanbul's chances just got better by no virtue of its own. Lets hope this isn't a case of bad things coming in threes. If I were Istanbul, I'd be TRIPLE checking everything, watertight.

Heading into the last four months of bidding, the home stretch.

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This isn't about being anti-Madrid. I've had the Games in my town, I'm pretty neutral in this race actually and think Madrid's got a smart venue plan. But this is massively relevant.

More fallout:

Dick Pound, driving force behind the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has attacked the decision of a Spanish judge to destroy all the evidence in the Operacion Puerto case writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

On Tuesday judge Julia Patricia Santamaria sentenced Dr Eufemiano Fuentes on charges associated with playing a central role in doping in cycling. However, to the disappointed of anti-doping organisations and campaigners, she ordered the destruction of evidence which, it was contended by WADA, may lead to more dope cheats in both cycling and other sports.

WADA has said it will not comment on the ruling until its directors had read the 400-page judgment though the Spanish anti-doping has said it is likely to appeal.

Judge Santamaria justified her decision not to hand over documentary evidence and blood bags on privacy grounds.

Her ruling will only reinforce wider opinion that Spain is ‘soft’ on doping and could damage seriously Madrid’s prospects of defeating Tokyo and Istanbul in bidding to host the 2020 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee decides in Buenos Aires on September 7.

Pound said: “It’s been a disappointing experience from start to finish, from the original suppression of the evidence to an ongoing resistance that continues to this day.

It’s embarrassing for Spain. Everybody knows if the examples are made available, we will be able to uncover quite a bit more doping. The rules are designed to catch people who are doping but the underlying purpose is to try to create a doping-free world of sport so people don’t have to cheat or become chemical stockpiles in order to be successful.”

Andy Parkinson, Britain’s Anti-Doping chief executive, echoed Pound’s comments, saying: “We are disappointed in the decision by the Spanish authorities. Dr Fuentes has admitted to being involved in multiple doping activities, and linked with multiple unnamed athletes.

“It therefore cannot be right that these names will remain unknown and that no immediate action can be taken by the anti-doping community to protect our clean athletes.”

Leading athletes angered by Judge Santamaria’s decision included Andy Murray, tennis’s world No3. He tweeted: “Operacion puerto case is beyond a joke . . . biggest cover up in sports history? why would court order blood bags to be destroyed?”


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And an IOC statement says:

"It is unfortunate that the evidence used in this proceeding is not now being made available to anti-doping organisations to further the fight against doping."

"We unreservedly condemn the actions of anyone involved in providing athletes with an unfair advantage through doping.."

"We understand, however, that the Spanish government is moving to approve anti-doping legislation in parliament that would bring Spain in line with the principles of the World Anti-Doping Code and the UNESCO Convention against doping in sport and we express hope that this will lead to greater cooperation with anti-doping organisations in the future."

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As if Madrid chances weren't low enough. The decision of destroy the blood bags is insane and a proof of how much corrupted are the spanish organizations. Even more serious, a lot of important sport figures have attacked this decision. I agree with RobH. This is far more serious than the foot-in-mouth declarations that Tokyo did.

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Paula Radcliffe says Spanish drugs scandal may harm Madrid's chance to host the 2020 Olympics

Paula Radcliffe has suggested that a Spanish court's order to destroy more than 200 blood bags seized during Operation Puerto could damage Madrid's bid for the 2020 Olympics.

The women's marathon world record holder, an outspoken campaigner against doping in sport, said it was "vital" the 211 bags of blood were analysed to try and catch other cheats.

The head of the International Olympic Committee's medical commission, Arne Ljungqvist, has spoken out against the court order and the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) is considering challenging the decision.

Other IOC members have stated privately they believe the order will count against Madrid's Olympic bid and Radcliffe said it was "fair" to suggest that would be the case.

She told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "The Spanish anti-doping agency is only just bringing into line its national legislation with the rest of the world to make it a criminal offence to take part in doping and to supply doping, and that was probably done to support the bid to host the Olympics in 2020.

"This certainly could have supported that a whole lot more and made it look as though Spain was being tough and coming with the rest of the world on anti-doping.

"Instead, it looks like they've gone against it."

Madrid judge Julia Santamaria ordered the destruction of 211 bags of blood and other evidence seized in police raids on Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes in 2006, citing privacy laws. He has been given a suspended one-year jail sentence.

Fuentes confirmed in court he had clients from other sports, including tennis, football and athletics, but not that they had been involved in doping.

Radcliffe added: "It is very frustrating at a time when globally the momentum is moving towards supporting anti-doping in a very positive direction with the actions of USADA [uS anti-doping agency] and the recent clean-up in cycling.

"Here the Spanish courts and the Spanish nation had a chance to really go with that and support that, and show that they were behind the anti-doping fight, and in fact they have basically gone in the opposite direction.

She said it was "vital" that the bags were preserved for analysis.

"There are 211 blood bags in question, probably relating to about 35 different people." Radcliffe said.

"It could be massive if we could have that information and it exposed those cheats but also used the fact that we would be opening this up and exposing them as a huge deterrent."


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And this is what the BBC sport website looks like today....


Olympic cycling gold medallist Nicole Cooke wants Britain's International Olympic Committee members to vote against Spain's 2020 Games bid following the country's doping scandal.

"It is time to stand up for every one of those unknown victims of those bags of blood, every one of those robbed by the cheats,"

Now she has called on the British Olympic Association's IOC members to "ensure a nation that allows its legal system to act in this manner can have no part in hosting any future Olympic Games".

"We now need our representatives to send the most clear message to the Spanish authorities. It is a great privilege to host an Olympic Games. Madrid seeks nomination for the 2020 Games. We have our IOC representatives, who have a vote to cast. They can, today, offer tangible sanction while we athletes can do little but comment.

"Sir Craig Reedie, Sir Philip Craven, Adam Pengilly, make your views public and crystal clear. This is not an area for inaction or even for 'behind-closed-doors' persuasions. Please, let us not be quiet on this issue.


Extraordinary. Plenty of athletes support Olympic bids. I'm not sure I can ever recall a gold medallist publically urging IOC members not to vote for a particular bid though. This is looking beyond grim for Madrid right now.

Edited by RobH
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This whole mess is just another big hurdle added to the mountain-climb that already faces Madrid 2020. This, coupled with the whole wrestling uproar, (apparently initiated by JAS jr), & coupled with the "still too soon" after '92 complex, & then also coupled with the dire economic situtation, how can any IOC member be compelled to vote for them whatsover. The only thing that could be expected is a Salzburg-style exit this time around.

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While I prefer a lot Tokyo and Istanbul bids, I think we can be objective enough to analyse this. Like many people said before, as it isn't wasn't enough with the actual obstacles, Madrid bid has the worst nightmare at the time of voting.

And your contributions??? Bad news of Madrid , it´s a free forum ;)

When Madrid lose for a third time -Which is very likely right now-, I hope you can keep this attitude.

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The Spanish Anti-Doping Agency is going to appeal the sentence and I think the NOC should join them in doing so, at least they have already expressed their disappointment. It's true that Madrid 2020 has its disadvantages and that their chances don't seem to be too high, but it wouldn't be nice if they lost because of an external issue like this.

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Agreed. But, to be fair, given how solid their bid plan is, I think external issues have ALWAYS been the Madrid team's biggest headache. If it's not this it's the economy, if it's not the economy it's Barcelona 92, if it's not Barcelona 92 it's London 2012 only four year earlier etc. I just get the feeling this is the straw that finally breaks the camel's back. Madrid needed a big good news story at this stage, instead it got a huge cowpat of a bad news story.

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