Update, link to cycling names involved on this forum some big names still in the game.
Its the hot topic of the moment, Lance Armstrong has had his ‘coming out’ on Oprah albeit on his own terms. Tyler Hamilton has told all in his book about how it works, and a whole host of big names from the past have admitted they were part of the problem. Cycling is going through a difficult period. But it is facing its problems head-on despite an extremely suspect leadership coming out of the UCI. What has come out of all this and reared its head with the Spanish Court case, is doping is not just in cycling.Who was using those bags?
Operation Puerto “OP”, is an old story brought back to light. On 23 May 2006, Spanish police raided a property belonging to doctor Fuentes, they found a thousand doses of anabolic steroids, 100 packets of blood products, and machines to manipulate and transfuse them . The blood bags found in Fuentes properties had code names for his own reference most of these were traces back to athletes. About 200 different names were linked to these blood bags. Only 50 or so of these were cyclists.
The names of the cyclist were leaked (more so let out) prior to the 2006 tour, leading the names linked to be pulled from that year’s Tour of France. None of the riders from the top 5 from 2005 would be on the start-line. Names such as Ullrich, Basso, Mancebo, Contador, Scarponi, Valverde were linked some cleared by courts, others given bans. But as they say despite denials from some riders there is no smoke without fire. It should also be noted a handful of Armstrong team mates had also been linked to blood bags found in the Raid.
But this is were it begins to get interesting, 50 or so cyclists named, but another 150 blood bags with code names left unnamed, a veil of silence over them. Fuentes himself has said he is upset that the cyclists had been named while others he had worked with are left unnamed. He has made no bones about having worked with people in a range of sports . According to an eye witness who worked with Fuentes, he saw a handful of Madrid and Barcelona players coming in and out of his office during his time working with him. As such there are few or no names on forums etc; it has been very well covered up. It seems Fifa and other authorities and powerful connections have put the hush on anything coming out. Come after cycling but leave the rest to be, why?
From what I could make out Roberto Carlos (96-07) and Ronaldo (02-07) (Fat) worked with him during their time in Spain; they are only names I could figure out from the little evidence leaked not relating to the cyclists. I am not insinuating they were linked in any way, merely that they may have worked with him. Any footballer playing in La Liga during those periods could have easily worked with Fuentes. He has been linked with all the big 3 during the period, and was official doctor to Las Palmas, and a range of division 2 clubs have been said to have worked with him. His methods ranged from basic patches for testosterone and hormones, to more advanced blood and EPO doping.
He also played a big hand in tennis, he has continued to operate even after Operation Puerto. Nadal and a few other of his countrymen have been closely linked to him from what I can tell. A handful of tennis players have already been warned off working with the Italian equivalent Ferrari. Doping in any Sport can provide an edge, it can help you stay at the top longer, recover from an injury and let you train longer and harder.
So now Fuentes and his colleagues are up in Court but due to Spanish law he is not up on doping charges but instead they are coming after him for endangering the health of his patients, something he strongly denies he is guilty of. But in this case the judge has ruled out any evidence that could unveil the names of his non-cycling clients. They are going after a doping doctor but solely using cycling. The tennis, soccer etc side is being totally ignored, it is being suppressed.
Wayne Odesnik nabbed for drugs, spilled the beans looking to reduce his sentence but its never been confirmed what he revealed. Big names like Nadal have popped up on several rumour lists along with others. Nadal’s current period away from the game since Wimbledon last year have raised plenty of rumours but that’s likely with any major ‘name’; there has been no definite evidence it has to be said. Previously the Spanish government and the ITF said that no tennis players were part of a Spanish investigation about doping abuse, this only came after the release of other names had been blocked by a Spanish judge.
Other rumours include comments from Fuentes off the record that if the whole truth was to come out Spain would be stripped of its 2008 European Championship win. And that he also worked with the German World Cup team in 2006. All these little snippets suggest there is a huge cover-up by people closely associated with the Associations and close to Fifa and the ITF – it could be argued that the Spanish Government and legal system have not decided to cover the names up without pressure from behind. Both Fifa and the ITF have reviewed the confidential files and acted behind the scenes. WADA, the champions of the anti-doping movement, are angered by this apparent cover-up and the more it’s talked about the better.
I could say more but I will hold my words for now on a topic I hope people can keep discussing. Doping runs much deeper than just cycling and it’s about time it was spoken about.