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Operation Puerto – Doping runs much deeper than just cycling

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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.

About Author

Based in Dublin, Ireland. Introduced to betting through horse racing, placed my first bet on kicking king to win the Gold Cup at 4/1. Used my love of all sports to take an interest in betting on sports. Qualified accountant with a way with numbers. Over years have found the niche sports most rewarding with NFL and Cycling, but always dabble in bit of everything. Focus in future is good staking and improved trading. Also blog at http://sportinginvest.com/

7 Comments

  1. Where did you find the names of Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo? Jesus Manzano, a cyclist-whistleblower who is also to testify in this trial, has said he saw several well-known footballers entering the clinic, including one player who played (then or before?) at the Spanish national team. Fuentes said he workked with “individual” footballers, so it wasn’t a team thing. The Spain world cup quotes seem to be out of context. Anyway, if Real Madrid players are involved, Spanish press and judicial system will do anything to stop this from coming out. Fuentes knows that if he wants to “survive” and get a mild verdict, he can’t give those names.

    You should also take into account that Fuentes has the reputation of being a bit of a “bragger”, that not all he says should be taken too seriosuly, that he sometimes takes his dreams for reality. And not all of his clients did illegal things either.

  2. Hi Chris

    Thanks first of all for reading and for your comments let me answer your question.

    An unnamed witness has said he saw to Spanish based Brazilian internationals working with Fuentes when he visited him for doping help. I did some cross matching of dates etc and they stand out as the two, its hard to see who else it could be.

    Fuentes does talk himself up, but theirs always a bit of truth to everything he says, from reality he makes dreams. According to a few people in know he did work with teams on unoffical basis as in, teams introduced him to player. Valencia are said to have paid him as did a whole host of other teams, so he was working with teams.

    Yes the Spanish system is doing its best to keep anything coming out your right. Fuentes has openly admitted he wont name them and that he was threatened.

  3. Wow… And the statement of the unnamed witness is actually in the dossier? That would be huge… Let’s see if some foreign journalist can dig into this and bring this story, shouldn’t expect anything from the Spanish. And ok, a team introducing Fuentes to players makes sense (although there’s still a step from that to saying the team knew that something illegal happened). Anyway, good job from your part, let’s see if some mainstream media can pick this up.

  4. Yeah from, what I can make out the statement he made is on file and in amongst the cycling quotes, its ok as no names have been used. Yeah im hoping someone can find some names.

    WADA have been great too and not afraid to state theirs something fishy going on here. Barcalona have been more forthcoming to talk about been in touch with them, however with valencia linked to paying him they refuse to comment.

  5. Yes, seems Fuentes was trying to get into football, and that he had offered his services to a number of teams. Most declined, teams have a decent medical staff, so wouldn’t make sense to work with external doctors, unless you want something your own doctors can’t provide. The judge has now just stated they won’t ask Fuentes to name all his clients and link all the blood bags to individuals. Nothing to expect from that side.

  6. Answered that above peter.

    One unnamed witness, mentioned somewhere in documents describes having seen two well known Brazilian internationals in the office at the time, i did maths on the dates and their weren’t that many people fitting the profile of being based their and international in the period in question.

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