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Operation Puerto: Spanish court insists blood bags are released

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A Madrid court has ruled that the 200-odd blood bags from the notorious Operacion Puerto scandal in Spain, which began over 10 years ago with the arrest of doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, must be handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency, cyclings world governing body the UCI and the Italian Olympic Committee for testing.

The decision, which overturns the hugely controversial 2013 ruling from Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria to destroy them, could potentially lift the lid on what many believe to be the one of the biggest suppressed doping scandals of all time.

Rumours have long swirled that other sports could be dragged into Puerto. So far only cyclists have been named - a total of 56 riders were implicated, although only six served any kind of ban, among them Alejandro Valverde, Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Jörg Jacksche but the doctor at the centre of the scandal, Fuentes, frequently boasted of working with athletes from other sports, including Champions League footballers, tennis players, athletes and boxers.

Whether anything can be done now even if other athletes are found to have been doped by Fuentes is a moot point. Wadas revised 2015 statute of limitations allows for 10 years to punish athletes guilty of anti-doping rule violations, but that only applies to cases running from Jan 1, 2015. For Puerto, the old eight-year statute of limitations is understood to apply, the deadline for which has long since elapsed. In any case, the 10-year anniversary of Puerto recently took place, leading to various conspiracy theories regarding why the Spanish courts dragged this out for so long.

A Wada spokesperson told Telegraph Sport earlier this year that its lawyers were looking into possible ways around this. There might be occasions or specific circumstances in which the statute of limitations started to run only at the end of a series of violations, he said.

Even if they cannot be punished, though, just being named and shamed would be something, and could lead to further investigations within the relevant sports.

More @ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cycling/2016/06/14/operation-puerto-spanish-court-insists-blood-bags-are-released/

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I wonder if any athletes actually will be named and shamed?

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I wonder if any athletes actually will be named and shamed?

They should! Sponsors deserve to know who they've invested their money into!

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