‘Operation Puerto’ doping trial opens in Spain



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Monday 28 January 2013

Last update 29 January 2013 12:38 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MADRID: A doctor accused of masterminding a vast doping network that snared dozens of cyclists went on trial in Spain on Monday along with four alleged conspirators.
Trial witnesses include Alberto Contador, the Tour de France winner in 2007 and 2009, who returned to competition last year after a two-year ban for a separate case in which he denied doping.
The trial in Madrid will do little to boost the credentials of a sport reeling from US rider Lance Armstrong’s admission that he doped his way to a record seven Tour de France wins.
Police busted the Spanish network in 2006 when they seized 200 bags of blood and other evidence of performance-enhancing transfusions, in an investigation dubbed “Operation Puerto.”
Among the five defendants facing charges of an “offense against public health,” the most prominent is the suspected mastermind of the network, 57-year-old doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
Investigators listed 58 cyclists suspected in the scandal. Fuentes told Le Monde newspaper he had provided services to others such as tennis players and footballers but later retracted that claim.
Of the 58, six have received sporting sanctions: Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde, Germans Jan Ullrich and Joerg Jaksche and Italians Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi and Giampaolo Caruso, who was later acquitted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Fuentes’s lawyer Julian Perez-Templado told AFP after Monday’s hearing that the doctor would not reveal any more names of people for whom he carried out transfusions.
The other four defendants in the trial are the doctor’s sister Yolanda; former Liberty Seguros cycling team director Manolo Saiz; former Comunitat Valencia team chief Vicente Belda and his deputy, Jose Ignacio Labarta.
Fuentes, in a dark suit and blue tie, and the other four defendants were swarmed by reporters as they arrived at the Madrid court for the start of the hearing, but made no comment.
Perez-Templado said Monday’s hearing dealt with procedural matters and certain demands by civil parties in the case. Judge Maria Santamaria adjourned the trial until Tuesday morning, when Fuentes was due to be the first to testify.
The defendants are charged with endangering public health rather than incitement to doping, which was not a crime at the time of the arrests. A Spanish anti-doping law was passed only in November 2006.
The prosecutor, seeking a two-year prison sentence plus a two-year professional ban for the accused, will have to show that the blood transfusions put the riders’ health at risk.
Fuentes has denied that charge but witnesses such as former cyclist Jesus Manzano, scheduled to testify on February 11, will try to refute his claims.
Since 2004 Manzano, a former rider on Spanish team Kelme of which Fuentes was the head doctor, has alleged generalized doping in the team and says he himself underwent transfusions of adulterated blood.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: In a fresh boost for relations between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, the Kingdom has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding on Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) with Dhaka. The Kingdom endorsed a proposal in this regard at a meeting be...
The Indonesian mission is hopeful detained Indonesian pilgrims will be free “very soon.” The mission is trying to persuade Saudi authorities of their nationals’ innocence.Eleven Indonesian pilgrims, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah to perform U...
JEDDAH: Police at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh arrested a Saudi hacker after a government organization in Al-Leith in Makkah complained that he had hacked its website, according to an online newspaper.Col. Atti Al-Qurashi, spokesman fo...
JEDDAH: The special criminal court has sentenced a former military official to nine years in jail for joining Daesh and traveling to Syria to fight.A fine of SR5,000 was also slapped on him and he was barred from traveling abroad for nine years after...
JEDDAH: Saudi-Indian ties have reached a new high with the arrival of an Indian Air Force (IAF) flying contingent at the King Fahd Air Base in Taif.The mission, comprising more than 100 high-ranking IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi MKI fighter...
RIYADH: A tripartite agreement among the National Handicraft Program, Prisons Department and the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC) was recently signed in the presence of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tou...
JEDDAH: British authorities have opened investigations into the plane crash that led to the death of three members of the Binladin family.Investigations depend on the black box which registers the entire plane’s data, including speed, position of mob...
JAZAN: In a tragic accident, a speeding fuel truck caused four deaths and injuries to many people when it collided head on with five cars on the northern entrance of Abu Areesh area of Jazan, according to a website.The truck deviated from its path an...
JEDDAH: Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Abdul Lateef Al-Asheikh has directed all the municipal authorities to closely scrutinize the election candidates’ credentials to thwart violation of rules.This is to ensure that the candidates meet all the...
Mohammed Mokammel Hossain, labor consul, Bangladesh Consulate, Jeddah * Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah.* Can you tell us your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Insha’Allah. * W...
RIYADH: Expatriates feel Saudi Arabia is a safer place than their home countries despite the fact that the Kingdom is leading a war against the Yemeni rebels and other terror organizations and a couple of suicide attacks in the recent past. Mahmoud T...
RIYADH: The maximum medical policy or contract for visitors is SR100,000, which covers expenses on emergency treatment, maternity charges, traffic accident injuries, dialysis and medical treatment in or outside the Kingdom. Making the above announce...
JEDDAH: The city and its surrounding areas sweltered on Monday, with the maximum temperature rising to 44 degree Celsius and relative humidity being recorded at 85 percent. The weather department has forecast a similar situation in Jeddah on Tuesday....
JEDDAH: A National Academy for Energy in Dammam and a private technical technical college, both exclusively for women, will be opened in the Easter Province.The General Organization of Technical and Vocational Training is in the process of implementi...
AL-AHSA: Masjid Joatha or Joatha Mosque is a center of attraction in Al-Ahsa with many visitors and tourists thronging the place of worship, which was believed to have been built in the seventh year of Hijri (629 AD).The mosque has been restored as p...

Stay Connected

Facebook