Thursday 31, Jan 2013
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Responding to an announcement that evidence collected in the Operation Puerto investigation would be destroyed, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has remarked that the evidence must be preserved.
“WADA continues to be very frustrated by the slow wheels of Spanish justice in this case,” said WADA president John Fahey. “We continue to emphasize that the evidence gathered by law enforcement during the investigation needs to be preserved for sharing with sport and anti-doping authorities.”
Judge Arturo Beltran will review and give the final ruling on the case against Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes who is accused of doping 200 athletes, including cyclists, footballers, tennis players, basketball players, and others.
“When the final ruling is issued, after a possible appeal, then it is likely that in the end all the blood bags and evidence will be destroyed,” said Beltran.
Fifty names have been made public since the case started with Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, and Alejandro Valverde being among the many cyclists but names of non-Spanish athletes do not fall under the jurisdiction of the case.
“One could probably find out which athletes doped with Fuentes,” said Madrid prosecutor Eduardo Esteban. “But since Spanish criminal law isn’t relevant to them, this investigation will not be conducted. And therefore is is most likely that no new names or sports will appear in the case against Fuentes.”
“While some of this evidence might not be necessarily used in court, it certainly can be crucial in the sanctioning processes for individual athletes who may have committed doping offences,” said Fahey.
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