Eufemiano Fuentes convicted over cyclist doping programme

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Football News

Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes has been convicted over doping offences in Spain and has received a one-year suspended sentence for endangering public health.

Fuentes was accused of controlling one of the most sophisticated doping programmes in sport after police discovered 200 bags of frozen blood and plasma when they raided his offices in 2006.

But he could only be charged by the Spanish authorities under a public health law because doping was not against the law in Spain at the time. Spain has since passed anti-doping laws, and the national parliament will vote an anti-doping bill late this year, according to the BBC.

As well as a one-year suspended sentence, Fuentes has been struck off the medical list for four years and fined €4,650.

The trial, part of the Operation Puerto investigation, sentenced an ex-cycling team official to four months in jail, while another three defendants were cleared.

Former-Kelme cycling team official Ignacio Labarta will serve four months in prison.

But many in the cycling community have been left shocked at the decision to destroy the blood bag evidence used in the trial.

Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria ordered the bags be destroyed, ending the World Anti-Doping Agency's hopes of testing the blood to determine whether other athletes from other sports were also involved in Fuentes' programme.

Despite the Operation Puerto evidence, few professional cyclists have been convicted of doping offences.

And during the trial, Fuentes claimed he worked with a number of different sportspeople throughout his career, including those involved in football and boxing, although he did not say whether he helped them to dope.

The 2006 raids found a huge stash of blood bags, each marked up with codenames for particular professional cyclists, but this evidence will now be destroyed.

Fuentes has always insisted that the transfusions were only used to safeguard athletes' health and to aid their training performance.

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