Doctor in doping trial may name athlete clients
The doctor at the center of the massive Operation Puerto blood-doping trial may hand over his full list of former athlete clients to authorities.
Eufemiano Fuentes told Europa Press after Wednesday's hearing that he would ''consider a mutual collaboration'' with the World Anti-Doping Agency and Spain's doping watchdog.
''If they consider that I can be useful and ask me, I would consider it and be willing,'' Fuentes said. ''I wouldn't do so for a reduced sentence, no, but rather so there is a mutual collaboration by both sides. If that meant that they wanted my (client) list, they would have it.''
So far, the 2006 police raids that led to Fuentes and four other defendants being tried on public health charges implicated more than 50 cyclists, including Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and Alejandro Valverde.
But Fuentes testified on Jan. 29 that he worked with athletes from various sports, including soccer, tennis, boxing and track and field. He has yet to name his clients.
Since doping in Spain was not illegal in 2006, the defendants are on trial for endangering the health of athletes who had blood transfusions with the goal of boosting their performance.
Fuentes denies the charges, saying his procedures were safe.
During Wednesday's session, the lawyer for the International Cycling Union asked the judge to hand out harsh punishments to set an example.
''We are before the largest trial against a doping ring in sport, not just in Spain, but possibly in the world,'' Pablo Jimenez de Parga told judge Julia Santamaria. ''The moment has arrived for the entire world to know Spain's answer to this kind of behavior. That's why I dare to ask for an exemplary punishment to show the degree of commitment of Spanish authorities, including the judiciary, in the fight against doping.''
The defendants may lose their professional licenses and face two years in jail.
The trial is set to end April 2. This week, it coincides with the visit of the International Olympic Committee to inspect Madrid's bid for the 2020 Games.
Since 2006, Spain has passed anti-doping legislation. Its parliament is expected to vote in June or July for a stricter law that will include heavy fines for anyone who deals or profits from the sale of banned performance-enhancing substances or procedures.