De bloeddopingkliniek van dokter Fuentes
Cycling: Liberty manager held in police raid (The Independent 24 May 2006)
Manolo Saiz verhaftet (Tagesanzeiger 24. Mai 2006)
Manuel Saiz, four others arrested in cycling drug probe (The Spain Herald May 24, 2006)
Spanish cycling speaks out over Saiz (Cycling News May 24, 2006)
Geheime kliniek behandelde tweehonderd renners (Typicallyspanish.com May 25 2006)
Four held in doping probe (NEWS.com.au 25may06)
Wielerunie kondigt maatregelen tegen dopingrenners aan (Reuters May 26, 2006) Guardia Civil bevestigt betrokkenheid van bekende sporters.
Radiostation: "Jan Ullrich was klant bij dopingkliniek" (procycling.com 25/05/2006)
Ook voetballers, atleten en basketballspelers waren klant bij dopingkliniek (International Herald Tribune May 27, 2006)
Arts dopingkliniek pas vrij op borg van drie ton (Reuters May 26, 2006)
Wie is Eufemiano Fuentes? (Eurosport May 26, 2006)
Jintropin, IGF-1, Humegon en geconcentreerde rode bloedcellen (Velosport June 25, 2006)
Guardia Civil onderzoekt Jan Ullrich (ANP 26 juni 2006)
Tyler Hamilton was klant bij bloeddoping-kliniek (Los Angeles Times June 27, 2006)
Dopingaffaire rond bloeddopingkliniek: Meer namen (eitb24.com 06/29/2006)
Dopingaffaire rond bloeddopingkliniek: De lijst is openbaar (L'EQUIPE 30 juin 2006)
T-Mobile schorst Ullrich (ANP 30 juni 2006)
Tour onthoofd door Spaanse dopingaffaire (ANP 30 juni 2006)
L'Equipe publiceert fragmenten uit afgeluisterde gesprekken (Eurosport 01/07/2006)
Fuentes: Ik behandel ook voetballers, atleten en tennissers (Reuters July 6, 2006)
Dokter Fuentes wilde zijn klanten beschermen (Reuters 7/7/2006)
Pantani kocht voor 36.000 euro anabolen, groeihormoon, EPO en Clomid bij Fuentes (Radsport Aktiv 04.07.2006)
T-Mobile ontslaat Ullrich (ANP 21 juli 2006)
Fuentes hield praktijk in Hamburg (ANP 01-09-2006)
Spanish doping investigation hits legal complications (Reuters Oct 27 2006)
Spanish parliament passes tough anti-doping bill (Reuters Nov 2 2006)
High levels of EPO found in seized bags of blood-reports (Reuters Nov 24 2006)
Judge to throw out doping case, papers say (Reuters March 10 2007)
Fuentes doet weer zaken (De Telegraaf 17 april 2007)
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Cycling: Liberty manager held in police raid
By Alasdair Fotheringham
The manager of one of cycling's top teams has been detained for questioning by Spanish police as part of a major
Police raided four flats in the Spanish capital and in Saragossa as part of the operation yesterday morning, one housing a clinic.
Spanish sports newspaper reports claimed that more than 1,000 doses of anabolic steroids and hormones, as well as about 100 drip-bags of artificially manipulated blood had been discovered in the clinic. The products are believed to belong to a drugs ring set up to supply professional athletes with illegal performance-enhancing substances.
Liberty Seguros officials denied that there was anything to worry about. "We're staying calm because there is no room for any kind of doubt," said the team director, Pablo Anton.
Saiz used to boast that his teamhad never had a positive dope test in their 16-year historybut their former leading rider Roberto Heras ended that record in 2005 when traces of the banned substance EPO were found in his blood.
Manolo Saiz verhaftet
Manolo Saiz, der Technische Leiter des spanischen Profiteams Liberty Seguros, ist in Spanien von der Guardia Civil im Zuge einer grossangelegten Dopingfahndung festgenommen worden.
Mit Saiz wurden auch der Physiotherapeut Eufemiano Fuentes, Ignacio Labarta, der stellvertretende Sportliche Leiter des Teams Comunidad Valenciana, der Madrider Arzt José Luis Merino und der Mountainbike-Fahrer Alberto Leon inhaftiert. Wegen «Gefährdung der allgemeinen Gesundheit» wurden sie an die Antidoping-Behörde der Guardia Civil nach Madrid überführt.
Liberty Seguros war im vergangenen Jahr in die Schlagzeilen geraten, als Roberto Heras am zweitletzten Tag der Vuelta positiv auf das Blutdopingmittel EPO getestet worden war. Dem Bergspezialisten war darauf der Gesamtsieg in der Spanien-Rundfahrt aberkannt worden.
Saiz hatte als Technischer Leiter des mittlerweile aufgelösten Rennstalls Once mehrere Jahre mit Alex Zülle zusammengearbeitet.
Manuel Saiz, four others arrested in cycling drug probe
The Spain Herald
The Civil Guard arrested five persons yesterday as part of an extensive investigation into drug use in Spanish cycling. The arrested were Manuel Saiz, director of the Liberty Seguros team, doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, Jose Ignacio Labarta, the assistant director of the Comunidad Valenciana team, Jose Luis Merino, director of a Madrid clinical laboratory, and professional mountain biker Alberto Leon.
It is not known how many cyclists might be involved. At least six searches were carried out in Madrid, including at Merino's laboratory, where various illegal substances were confiscated. Fuentes had in his possession thousands of doses of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and one hundred bags of blood for self-transfusions.
Saiz's star cyclist, Roberto Heras, was disqualified from last year's Tour of Spain when he tested positive for drugs.
Spanish cycling speaks out over Saiz
By Les Clarke
After his arrest and detention on doping charges, along with four others, Manolo Saiz has been the hottest topic in Spanish cycling during the last 24 hours.
Various figures involved in the administration of cycling in Spain have expressed their views on the situation, including Spanish Cycling Federation president Fulgencio Sánchez, Association of Professional Cyclists boss José Rodriguez, Kelme director Vicente Belda and Vuelta a España director Victor Cordero.
The Court of Instruction number 31 in Plaza Castille, in Madrid, is coordinating the operation in together with the Central Operating Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard, which specialises in matters of drug trafficking. The investigation has been going on for several months, and has included phone taps.
Before the arrest of Saiz and four others, the UCO searched three residences in Madrid; two flats belonging to Eufemiano Fuentes and the clinic of José Merino Batres, plus another residence in San Lorenzo del Escorial belonging to mountain biker Alberto León.
Another flat was investigated - that belonging to José Ignacio Labarta, the assistant sports director of Comunidad Valenciana, in Zaragoza.
As reported by Efe, in an apartment belonging to Fuentes, approximately a thousand doses of anabolic steroids and hormones were seized, along with one hundred packets of blood, products to manipulate it, machines to freeze it and material to perform transfusions.
The clinic of José Merino was allegedly used for the blood transfusions of cyclists, athletes and other sportsmen, and Fuentes has links to the centre in his capacity as former doctor for the Kelme team. This is because the clinic was mentioned in the investigation involving former Kelme rider Jesus Manzano; the allegations made in that case were subsequently dismissed, however.
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Spain Paper Review
El Mundo reports that Manolo Saiz, from the Liberty Seguros cycling team was found with 60,000 € in cash and an isothermal bag when arrested in the new cycling doping scandal in Spain.
El Pais reveals that the investigators have found the medical details of 200 cyclists in the clinics which have been investigated as part of the affair.
ABC says that the police have been taping sportsmen who left the clinic used for the doping by Doctor Fuentes. La Vanguardia says that 100 bags of frozen blood were recovered.
El Periódico says that Saiz was on his way to pay the clinic 60,000 € when he was arrested. The paper says the government has declared ‘total war’ against illegal substances.
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Four held in doping probe
MAOLO Siaz, sporting director of the Liberty Seguros cycling team, was released by Spanish police overnight after being detained as part of a doping investigation.
Saiz was held with Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, who has collaborated with a number of cycling teams in recent years, and three others in what the media here described as the country's biggest anti-doping probe. Saiz must be available to appear before the judge heading the investigation when required, said sources from Spain's civil guard said.
An official civil guard statement, released by the Ministry of the Interior said: "Five people have been detained as suspects for crimes against public health.
"The guard have raided a number of addresses and found a large quantity of medical supplies such as anabolic steroids etc, laboratory equipment for use in blood transfusions, and more than 100 frozen packs of blood."
It also found records relating to specific cyclists and their training programs.
The investigation is being carried out for crimes prejudicial to public health because doping is not a criminal offence in Spain. Blood transfusions can be risky for sportsmen due to possible infections and heart problems.
Such offences can carry prison sentences for between six months and three years.
The media also reported that some of the products could have been destined for this year's Giro d'Italia, which completed its 17th stage overnight.
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Cycling doping offenders to be penalized
MADRID - The doping investigation being carried out in Spain could mirror the Festina scandal that tarnished the image of the sport in 1998, the president of the governing body for cycling warned on Thursday.
"Unfortunately it's looking like it could be the biggest doping investigation in Spain and could be along the lines of the 1998 Festina scandal," UCI president Pat McQuaid told Reuters by telephone on Thursday.
"The ProTour ethics code is very clear concerning doping and people who are found guilty will be disciplined. If it is true that 200 riders are implicated we will not be afraid to take disciplinary action against them all."
McQuaid voiced his caution after insurance company Liberty Seguros withdrew its sponsorship of Spanish cycling's leading professional team, which is the target of a doping investigation. The company cited the detention of the Liberty Seguros team's sporting director Manolo Saiz in Spain as the reason for its decision.
"As sponsors, Liberty Seguros have always wanted to promote a culture of fair play and zero tolerance with respect to doping," read a statement on Thursday. "In November 2005 after the suspension of a rider (Roberto Heras) for doping we made our contract one of the most rigorous with regard to this subject.
"The implications and consequences of the detention of Manolo Saiz are highly worrying; they damage our name and the name of cycling. We have canceled our agreement with the owners of the team (Active Bay) and will respect outstanding financial obligations." Spanish television reported the contract was worth 8 million euros ($10.2 million).
Saiz was detained this week with doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who has collaborated with a number of cycling teams in recent years, a former mountain bike competitor Jose Alberto Leon, and the head of a clinical analysis laboratory, Jose Luis Merino.
The fifth person is an assistant director of the Comunidad Valenciana cycling team, Ignacio Labarta. On Thursday there were calls from within the Valencia regional parliament to withdraw their sponsorship of that team.
Heras was banned for two years after testing positive for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) on his way to a record fourth victory in the Tour of Spain. Heras, a former team mate of seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in the U.S. Postal team, protested his innocence, arguing first that there must have been a laboratory mix-up and then that the testing process for EPO was flawed.
"We'll give great support to the Spanish police and doing DNA tests on the blood discovered is a possibility," McQuaid added.
In Tuesday's operation the Civil Guard raided a number of addresses and found a large quantity of medical supplies such as anabolic steroids, laboratory equipment for use in blood transfusions, and more than 100 frozen packs of blood.
The director general of the Civil Guard Joan Mesquida told Spanish state radio on Thursday: "We are analyzing numerous documents we have found. It is a very important investigation not at least because of the number of people implicated, some of them well-known."
Former Kelme cyclist Jesus Manzano, who in 2004 said he was routinely given blood transfusions when he rode for the team, said doping would never be eradicated until the authorities broke the support networks.
"Spanish sports have a cancer. Until they get rid of these directors, medics and sponsors it is going to be difficult to resolve the problem," Manzano told Spanish television station Telecinco.
Liberty are currently competing in the Giro d'Italia and one of their leading riders Alexandre Vinokourov is tipped to be a key challenger in this year's Tour de France.
In 1998 Festina were kicked out of the Tour de France following the discovery of a large supply of drugs in a car belonging to the team. Top rider Richard Virenque was banned for nine months.
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Ullrich denies Spanish doctor link
A Spanish radio station has suggested that Jan Ullrich could be among under-fire Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes' clients. The German flatly denied working with Fuentes at the Giro on Thursday.
Reports emanating from Spain in the last 24 hours indicate that up to 200 riders including Jan Ullrich could be under suspicion of doping following doctor Eufemiano Fuentes' arrest.
The Spanish Cadena Ser radio station alleged that "Ullrich is one of the clients of the doping cell discovered in Spain." Ullrich had earlier reacted to news of Fuentes' arrest with the statement: "Cycling isn't dirty, but there will always be doping cases because it's such a hard sport".
The rumours surrounding Ullrich apparently stem from Fuentes' allleged ties with Ullrich's coach, Luigi Cecchini. T-Mobile directeur sportif Rudy Pevenage said tonight that Cecchini assists Ullrich with training but not medical support, which the German receives from the University of Freiburg (where team doctor Lothar Heinrich is based - Ed). [Meer: ANP]
On Thursday morning, newspaper El Pais speculated about the number of riders who could be implicated in the scandal. "All except Valverde!" was the newspaper's breezy conclusion. El Pais reported that the Spanish Guardia Civil found the files of 200 riders in raids on properties including Fuentes' laboratory in the Calle Zurbano in Madrid.
It was at a bar on the same street that the Guardia Civil
arrested Liberty Seguros chief Manolo Saiz and Fuentes on
Tuesday afternoon. Police officers had apparently seen Fuentes
enter the bar holding a thermos bag, and Saiz leave with the
same bag shortly afterwards. The policemen then moved in to
apprehend both men. In the bag, they allegedly found 60
sachets of frozen blood and 60,000 euros in cash. In total,
the police are believed to have recovered 200 sachets each
containing 450 millilitres of blood and labeled with a code
identifying one of the doctors' clients. Huge quantities of
anabolic steroids and human growth human were apparently also
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported this morning that Saiz was
released after questioning on Wednesday partly because of
concerns about his health. Saiz apparently suffered an anxiety
attack and was provisionally released by the Guardia Civil on
medical advice. Saiz is apparently suspected to be one of
Fuentes' customers, but not one of the organisers of the
It was at a bar on the same street that the Guardia Civil arrested Liberty Seguros chief Manolo Saiz and Fuentes on Tuesday afternoon. Police officers had apparently seen Fuentes enter the bar holding a thermos bag, and Saiz leave with the same bag shortly afterwards. The policemen then moved in to apprehend both men. In the bag, they allegedly found 60 sachets of frozen blood and 60,000 euros in cash. In total, the police are believed to have recovered 200 sachets each containing 450 millilitres of blood and labeled with a code identifying one of the doctors' clients. Huge quantities of anabolic steroids and human growth human were apparently also found.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported this morning that Saiz was released after questioning on Wednesday partly because of concerns about his health. Saiz apparently suffered an anxiety attack and was provisionally released by the Guardia Civil on medical advice. Saiz is apparently suspected to be one of Fuentes' customers, but not one of the organisers of the doping ring.
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Blood Doping Scandal Is Spreading in Spain
By SAMUEL ABT
PARIS - A doping scandal that is unfolding in Spain is not limited to bicycle racers but includes soccer and basketball players and track and field athletes, Pat McQuaid, the president of the International Cycling Union, revealed Friday.
"The extent is shocking," McQuaid said in an interview by phone from Switzerland, where the cycling union, which governs the sport, is based. "It's going to have a huge impact.
"It is, however, a sports problem, not a cycling problem alone," he continued.
The case, centering on illegal performance-enhancing blood doping, was previously believed to involve only professional bicycle riders, officials of two Spanish teams and two sports doctors. In the storm that followed police raids in Madrid, one of the teams has lost its sponsor and the sport has been thrown into the biggest turmoil over drugs in nearly a decade.
But McQuaid said that officials in Spain had told him that athletes in the three other sports were involved, although they had not yet given him specific names. He also did not know whether the athletes were exclusively Spanish or included foreigners, as the Spanish media have reported.
"We're waiting on that information," said McQuaid, an Irishman who became head of the UCI, as the organization is known for its initials in French, last year. "They're using the computer to decode the names and will send us the list soon."
A photograph made public by the Guardia Civil showed racks of bags of blood with the date 13/05/06, or May 13, 2006, visible on one bag atop what seemed to be a computer printout.
The police also said that, during a month's stakeout of one apartment, they had filmed athletes arriving, apparently to collect drugs or to have blood extracted. After being frozen, it can be used in blood doping - transfusing an athlete's blood back into his body to increase the number of red corpuscles that carry oxygen to the muscles, thus increasing endurance.
While the practice has been illegal in sports for two decades, it cannot be detected by any tests now in use. Tests can, however, detect the presence of another person's blood in an athlete.
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Cycling-Doctor held pending bail in Spain doping probe
MADRID - The judge in charge of a doping investigation into Spanish cycling has ordered doctor Eufemiano Fuentes to be held unless bail of 300,000 euros ($382,000) is paid, judicial sources said on Friday.
The other three being detained, Jose Alberto Leon, Ignacio Labarta, and Jose Luis Merino are going to be released but will have to report to a police station every week, and are unable to leave the country.
Leon is a former mountain bike competitor, Labarta is an assistant director of the Comunidad Valenciana cycling team and Merino the head of a clinical analysis laboratory.
The sporting director of Liberty Seguros cycling team, Manolo Saiz, was released on Wednesday but has to remain available for questioning.
The director general of the Civil Guard Joan Mesquida told reporters on Friday there were unlikely to more detentions in the near future: "Although we have a large list of sportsmen the use of these susbstances isn't a criminal offence," he said.
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Spanish daily links 58 riders to doping probe
By Andrew Hood
Spanish daily El Páis dropped a bombshell in its Sunday edition, reporting that 58 cyclists - among whom are said to be 15 riders from the Astaná-Würth team and others who competed in last month's Giro d'Italia - are named in police and court documents as part of the "Operación Puerto" doping investigation in Spain.
The story did not name the riders, but described court documents - which still have not been publicly released - purporting to outline a "criminal network" said to be organized and administered by five people accused of involvement in the distribution of banned substances, such as EPO, human growth hormones and anabolic steroids, and running a blood-doping ring.
Spanish doctors Eufemiano Fuentes and José Luis Merino (head of hematology for a Madrid hospital); Manolo Sáiz (the former manager at Astaná-Würth); José Ignacio Labarta (former assistant sports director at Comunidad Valenciana); and Alberto León, a former mountain biker, were arrested May 23 by the doping brigade of Spain's Guardia Civil after a four-month investigation.
No official charges or reports have been released by the Spanish judiciary or other investigating officials. And while the Tour de France earlier this month revoked its wild-card invitation to Comunidad Valenciana following Labarta's detention, the UCI last week approved a ProTour license for Astaná-Würth, basing its decision strictly on banking information and other financial guarantees required by UCI rules.
While El País did not release any athletes' names, its story nonetheless had a prompt and significant impact. On Sunday, following its publication, racers in the Spanish national road championships quit in protest after riding just 3km.
El País's report, said to be based on direct access to court documents, alleged that Fuentes had been treating up to 15 members of the Astaná-Würth team. The newspaper reported that one Excel document allegedly lists names and racing schedules while another document allegedly outlines a doping program said to have been administered by Fuentes, with symbols and codes to outline dosages of EPO, human growth hormones, IGF-1 and HMG, [Humegon? Een mix van eiwitten, gewonnen uit de urine van vrouwen, met LH- en FSH-activiteit? - red.] and testosterone patches as well as indications for extractions and re-injections of blood. Some pharmaceutical products were prohibited in Spain and produced in Eastern European countries like the growth hormone Jintropin, which is illegally produced in China and distributed in the Internet.
According to the newspaper, court documents allege that athletes would pay upwards of 40,000 euros a year to be handled by Fuentes and Merino, who were said to work together to extract blood from the athletes, then clean and treat it to enrich valued red blood cells for later re-injection ahead of competition.
El País reported that the evidence includes scores of phone taps and videos as well as photographs of suspects entering and leaving laboratories and offices used by the alleged network.
Police also uncovered fake names and initials in notebooks to mark such details as payments for services. Nicknames such as "Guri, Jorge, Zapatero and Etxebarria" appear in such books, with "paid" or "not paid" written next to them.
The riders are coded by colors - blue, allegedly for Liberty Seguros-Würth; green, allegedly for Comunidad Valenciana; and "mios," allegedly for private clients of Fuentes - the newspape reported.
The criminal network managed the treatment of large quantities of blood for autotransfusion. Using pharmaceutical and mechanical means, the bags of blood were "washed" and "concentrated in red blood cells." These services allegedly cost the cyclists €40,000 annually. Haematologist José Luis Merino even asked the Spanish military forces to supply him with 50 boxes of physiological serum to wash the blood, and received great quantities of glycerol to conserve the frozen blood from public transfusion centres - all of which were furnished to him in good faith.
Agents also found a refrigerator "filled with 90 bags of blood or concentrates of red blood cells, frozen and identified with a number and date," the newspaper reported. Some transfusions were alleged to have taken place in a Madrid hotel, the report said.
El Pais also recounted allegations that Merino, using his position as head of hematology at a Madrid hospital, used hospitals and pharmacies within Spain's nationalized health system, apparently without their knowledge, to obtain materials and medicines to treat and store the blood.
The Madrid prosecutor said those implicated face charges of crimes against public health, El País reported. The five are said to have told court officials that they helped with the network, but argued that doping in sport is not a crime in Spain, El Pais reported. Manuel Moix, the head prosecutor on the case, said any charges could be based on how the blood was conserved.
El País also published a tapped phone conversation, purportedly between Labarta and Fuentes, about how they would split money owed by Saíz, whom the speakers refer to as "El Gordo," or the fat one.
On May 23, Spanish authorities detained Saíz, who was said to be carrying 60,000 euros worth of mixed currencies and a "cold bag" containing four packets of the banned product Synacthene - not blood, as previously reported.
In another story, El País recounted parts of Saíz's testimony before a Spanish judge. According to court documents described by the newspaper, Saíz said that Fuentes began working with Liberty Seguros (now Astaná) riders in 2004 after signing Roberto Heras, who insisted on working with him.
Heras was later banned for two years and stripped of victory after testing positive for EPO in the 2005 Vuelta a España. The rider insists he is innocent and attributed the positive test to an error.
Other riders alleged to have worked with Fuentes were Isidro Nozal, Angel Vicioso and Marcos Serrano, though Nozal dropping Fuentes after he tested for high hematocrit before the 2005 Dauphiné Libéré, the paper reported. Court documents are said to link 15 riders - more than half the Astaná-Würth lineup - to Fuentes.
There was no immediate reaction from UCI or Tour de France officials, but with less than a week to go before the start of the 2006 Tour, race officials will be under pressure to take action despite the unofficial nature of the news stories.
Meanwhile, those implicated have all denied wrongdoing. Labarta, who stepped down from his position at Comunidad Valenciana in a vain effort to save the team's Tour wild-card bid, said media reports have been "exaggerated" and that he wants to wait to comment until the court makes public any indictments.
Saíz, who also voluntarily stepped down from day-to-day operations but retains his portion of ownership of the team, has also denied any wrongdoing in the case.
Fuentes, who worked as a team doctor at ONCE and Kelme during the 1990s, said he has a "clear conscience."
"My ethics are intact and I believe that I haven't hurt anyone," Fuentes told the Spanish daily Levante earlier this month. "In 28 years as a professional doctor, I cannot remember one case of hurting the health of one of my patients. If something had happened, I would have realized it because they would have told me themselves or filed a negligence suit, which has never happened.
"Just like any doctor, I always try everything to protect and guard the health of my clients."
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El Pais sleurt Ullrich dopingschandaal in
MADRID - De Spaanse krant El Pais heeft in zijn jacht op dopingzondaars in het wielerpeloton het vizier nu gericht op Jan Ullrich. Minder dan een week voor de start van de Ronde van Frankrijk is de Duitse prof het Spaanse dopingschandaal ingesleurd.
De politie onderzoekt volgens El Pais of de gecodeerde bloedzakjes die zijn aangetroffen in een laboratorium, toebehoren aan Ullrich. Het lab zou zijn gerund door de Eufemiano Fuentes, de wielerarts die wordt beschouwd als de spil van het dopingschandaal. Hij wordt verdacht van productie en handel in anabole steroïden en bloeddope.
El Pais beweert dat het de codes heeft gekraakt van documenten die de doseringen van bloeddope aangeven. De codenamen 'Jan' en 'Hijo Rudicio' (zoon van Rudi) zouden op Ullrich wijzen. Rudicio slaat op Rudy Pevenage, de vertrouwenspersoon van de Duitse renner.
De naam Jan zou ook op recepten voor dopingproducten staan voor een bedrag van bijna 2000 euro. Ullrich weerlegde in een korte verklaring de beschuldigingen. "Dit heeft niks met mij te maken", zei de favoriet voor de Tourzege. Ook Pevenage ontkent betrokkenheid bij de zaak. "We hebben absoluut niks verkeerds gedaan."
"Het zijn hele zware beschuldigingen, die we zeker serieus nemen", reageerde de woordvoerder van Ullrichs ploeg T-Mobile. "We zullen contact zoeken met alle betrokkenen. Als blijkt dat er iets van klopt, zullen we gepast moeten reageren. Maar tot die tijd moeten we ons hoofd vooral koel houden. Voorlopig gaat het slechts om artikel in een krant, feiten of bewijzen ontbreken op dit moment volledig."
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Hamilton Faces New Doping Allegations
Report details billing for performance-enhancing treatment U.S. cyclist is said to have received
By Alan Abrahamson
A Spanish newspaper reported Monday that U.S. cyclist Tyler Hamilton, an Olympic gold medalist serving a two-year suspension for blood doping, was billed by a doctor for treatment that allegedly included blood transfusions and banned performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids, human growth hormone and the synthetic blood booster EPO.
Hamilton, in a statement issued by his attorney, Howard Jacobs of Los Angeles, said, "I have not done what the article alleges."
The report in El Pais, a national circulation paper published in Madrid, is part of a series sparked by a review of confidential judicial documents tied to a raid in May by police in Madrid. El Pais said Sunday that 58 riders in recent years might have received blood and banned substances.
Monday, the paper reported that among the documents it had reviewed was a fax, allegedly sent to Hamilton's wife, detailing a doctor bill for 43,040 euros, about $53,850 at Monday's exchange rate. The report said Hamilton also had been sent two pages of doctors' files purportedly detailing calendars noted with medications to be taken in advance of the 2003 season.
For instance, the paper reported, EPO was to be taken daily from Dec. 21 until Christmas Eve, and then on alternate days until Jan. 9. On Jan. 14, blood was to be withdrawn. On Jan. 24, anabolic steroids were to be started. Then in March, growth hormone and insulin were to be taken, as well as HMG, a hormone used by menopausal women, to mask anabolic steroid use, the paper said.
In the final lead-up to the Tour de France, cycling's premiere event, more growth hormone was to be taken and blood was to be reinfused, according to El Pais. Hamilton took fourth in the 2003 Tour despite breaking a collarbone in the first stage.
Hamilton won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the time trial, then failed a test for blood doping. The backup test proved inconclusive, authorities acknowledging that the sample had mistakenly been frozen, and Hamilton kept his medal.
The month after the Olympics, in September 2004, Hamilton tested positive again for blood doping.
The test turned up markers for someone else's blood in his system.
In February, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, rejected Hamilton's appeal and barred him from competition through Sept. 22, 2006.
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Cyclists Ullrich, Basso, Osa brothers and Beloki implicated
The Civil Guard had decoded the names from notes taken by Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, a doctor charged in connection with alleged doping, a leading radio station reported on Thursday.
Jan Ullrich, Tyler Hamilton and Ivan Basso were among 56 cyclists named in a Spanish probe as having contact with a doctor charged in connection with alleged doping, a leading radio station reported on Thursday.
Cadena SER said the Civil Guard had decoded the names from notes taken by Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.
Other names included Spaniards Francisco Mancebo, Joseba Beloki, Roberto Heras, Santi Perez, Jose Enrique Gutierrez and Colombian Santiago Botero, SER reported. The radio station did not give any details what kind of contact the cyclists had with Fuentes.
Two Spanish cycling teams - Astana-Wurth and Comunidad Valenciana - have been implicated.
Comunidad Valenciana had its invitation to compete in the Tour rescinded, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport will rule Friday on whether the Astana-Wurth Team is excluded from the race.
The Tour begins on Saturday.
"I have not been treated by Dr. Fuentes," Hamilton said on Monday on his Web site. "I have not done what the article alleges. In addition, I have never been contacted by authorities in Spain regarding these allegations. Therefore, it is impossible to comment on a situation I have no knowledge of."
The station added that Spanish sports minister Jaime Lissavetzky was to meet with his French counterpart on Friday to possibly ban the named cyclists from the Tour.
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La liste des coureurs cités
Les médias espagnols ont diffusé ce vendredi matin une liste élargie de coureurs cités par la justice espagnole dans l'opération Puerto, affaire de dopage touchant le cyclisme.
Jan Ullrich et Oscar Sevilla ont été écartés par leurs dirigeants de la T-Mobile. En revanche, Alexandre Vinokourov, qui fait partie de l'équipe Astana-Wurth, largement représentée, n'y figure pas.
Equipe Astana-Wurth : Michele Scarponi (ITA), Marcos Antonio Serrano (ESP), David Etxebarria (ESP), Joseba Beloki (ESP), Angel Vicioso (ESP), Isidro Nozal (ESP), Unai Osa (ESP), Jörg Jaksche (ALL), Giampaolo Caruso (ITA)
CSC : Ivan Basso (ITA)
Caisse d'Epargne-Iles Baleares : Constantino Zaballa (ESP)
Saunier Duval : Carlos Zarate (ESP)
AG2R : Francisco Mancebo (ESP)
T-Mobile : Jan Ullrich (ALL), Oscar Sevilla (ESP)
Phonak : José Enrique Gutierrez (ESP), José Ignacio Gutierrez (ESP)
Communauté de Valence: Vicente Ballester (ESP), David Bernabeu (ESP), David Rodriguez (ESP), José Adrian Bonilla (ESP), Juan Gomis Lopez (ESP), Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (ESP), David Latasa (ESP), Ruben Plaza (ESP), José Luis Martinez (ESP), Manuel Llorent (ESP), Antonio Olmo (ESP), David Munoz (ESP), Javier Cherro (ESP), Javier Pascual (ESP, ex-coureur et actuel technicien)
Unibet.com : Carlos Garcia Quesada (ESP)
Actuellement retirés ou suspendus pour dopage : Roberto Heras (ESP), Angel Casero (ESP), Santiago Perez (ESP), Tyler Hamilton (USA), Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ESP)
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Ullrich start niet in Tour
PLOBSHEIM - Jan Ullrich start zaterdag niet in de Ronde van Frankrijk. De Duitse Tourfavoriet wordt in verband gebracht met het grootschalige dopingschandaal in Spanje en werd daarom vrijdag met onmiddellijke ingang geschorst door zijn werkgever T-Mobile. Ook zijn vertrouwenspersoon Rudy Pevenage en teamgenoot Oscar Sevilla zijn op non-actief gesteld.
Een woordvoerder van T-Mobile meldde dat de internationale wielrenunie UCI de Duitse formatie op de hoogte heeft gesteld van het feit dat dit trio is betrokken bij de dopingaffaire in Spanje. De Spaanse wielerbond overhandigde de UCI en de Tourdirectie donderdagavond het onderzoeksrapport waarin ruim vijftig namen van wielrenners worden genoemd.
"Op grond van de bewijsstukken, die we van de Tourdirectie hebben ontvangen, houden wij 't voor onmogelijk voorlopig met dit drietal verder te werken", vertelde een woordvoerder van T-Mobile.
Ullrich zat in de teambus, op weg naar een 'gewone' persconferentie, toen hij te horen kreeg dat hij geschorst werd. Op dit moment zou Ullrich zich ophouden in het hotel van de wielerploeg, even buiten Straatsburg.
De zegsman van T-Mobile verklaarde dat "er duidelijk contact is geweest tussen de wielrenners en de Spaanse arts die in het middelpunt van deze affaire staat." Toch wilde de woordvoerder benadrukken dat de schorsing niet wil zeggen dat het duo daadwerkelijk dope heeft gebruikt: "Maar het team heeft hen gevraagd hun onschuld te bewijzen indien ze weer voor de ploeg willen rijden."
Ullrich en Sevilla zullen worden vervangen door de Duitser Stephan Schreck en de Italiaan Lorenzo Bernucci.
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Tour onthoofd door Spaanse dopingaffaire
STRAATSBURG - Het zou een tweestrijd worden tussen Jan Ullrich en Ivan Basso, maar noch de Duitser noch de Italiaan zal Lance Armstrong opvolgen als winnaar van de Ronde van Frankrijk. Beide coureurs konden vrijdag, een dag voor de Tourstart, naar huis omdat ze betrokken zijn bij het geruchtmakende dopingschandaal.
Alexandre Vinokoerov is dat niet, maar ook de Kazachstaanse medefavoriet start niet doordat zijn ploeg Astana-Würth met liefst vijf geselecteerde Tour-renners wel onder zware verdenking staat en zich in de avonduren conform het ethisch handvest terugtrok. Met slechts drie ploegmaats mag Vinokoerov ook niet eens meedoen.
Theo de Rooij, directeur van de Rabobank Wielerploegen, hield vol nooit te hebben gedacht dat zijn kopman, de Rus Denis Mentsjov, betrokken zou zijn geweest bij de affaire. Hij kwam met gemengde gevoelens uit de vergadering waarin de ploegbazen hadden besloten de renners terug te trekken die op de beruchte lijst figureerden.
De door de ProTour-ploegen afgesproken ethische code zegt dat renners die betrokken zijn bij een dopingonderzoek door de ploeg zelf geschorst zullen worden.
Ullrich hoorde het terwijl hij op weg was naar een persconferentie, Basso werd door CSC-baas Riis ingelicht na de meeting. "Het was moeilijk", vertelde Riis naderhand.
"Natuurlijk was Ivan diep teleurgesteld, maar we handelen zoals afgesproken in de charter. Zo lang zijn schuld niet vaststaat kan ik niet zeggen dat ik teleurgesteld ben in Ivan. Ik kan alleen maar opmerken dat ik nooit enig vermoeden heb gehad dat hij betrokken is bij deze affaire."
Bij T-Mobile werd de schorsing dus al eerder uitgesproken. Hij gold niet alleen voor Ullrich, maar ook voor diens trouwe begeleider Rudy Pevenage en Spaanse ploeggenoot Oscar Sevilla.
Een woordvoerder van T-Mobile meldde dat de internationale wielrenunie UCI de Duitse formatie op de hoogte had gesteld van het feit dat dit trio is betrokken bij de dopingaffaire in Spanje. De Spaanse wielerbond overhandigde de UCI en de Tourdirectie donderdagavond het onderzoeksrapport waarin ruim vijftig namen van wielrenners worden genoemd.
"Op grond van de bewijsstukken, die we van de Tourdirectie hebben ontvangen, houden wij 't voor onmogelijk voorlopig met dit drietal verder te werken", vertelde een woordvoerder van T-Mobile.
De zegsman van de Duitse ploeg verklaarde dat "er duidelijk contact is geweest tussen de wielrenners en de Spaanse arts die in het middelpunt van deze affaire staat." Toch wilde de woordvoerder benadrukken dat de schorsing niet wil zeggen dat het duo zich daadwerkelijk heeft bezondigd aan het gebruik van verboden middelen of methoden. "Maar het team heeft hen gevraagd hun onschuld te bewijzen indien ze weer voor de ploeg willen rijden."
De Tourploegen hadden met elkaar afgesproken geen vervangers op te roepen voor de coureurs die wegens de dopingzaak van de startlijst zouden worden geschrapt.
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Evidence: Fuentes and the "Fat Man"
It's on the basis of a 500-page report handed over Thursday by Spanish authorities to organisers of the Tour de France that 13 riders including Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich were suspended from the race. On Saturday, French newspaper L'Equipe published excerpts from raids, wiretaps, and surveillance.
Evidence seized at the Madrid labratory of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes on May 23 included a freezer that stored 96 blood pouches, 20 pouches of plasma. A seperate raid netted a similar amount. Each pouch was labeled with a date, a number, and a pseudonym.
Documents and taped telephone conversation enabled investigators to link the following code numbers to specific riders: Jan Ullrich (1), Ivan Basso (2), Santiago Botero (4), Oscar Sevilla (5), Jose Ignacio Gutierrez (12), Marcos Serrano (13), Angel Vicioso (16), Constantino Zaballa (19), Jörg Jaksche (20).
On Ullrich: the first name "Jan" appears four times in a document that lists products with code names, including blood, growth hormones, and testosterone patches.
On Ullrich's suspended T-Mobile manager Rudy Pevenage: On May 17, Fuentes gets an SMS from a Belgian telephone with the following text "Friend, can we talk a moment? Rudicio."
The next day - May 18 - Fuentes gets a call from the same number and says he's busy and asks when he call back. The person on the other end of the line says "Tonight. Right now, we have a time trial." The same day, Jan Ullrich wins the individual time trial on the Giro d'Italia.
On Basso: In a May 14 wiretapped phone conversation with Dr. Fuentes, Communidad Valencia director José Ignacio Labarta associates Basso's name to Gutierrez. The nickname "Birillo" is used for the Tour of Italy winner and that enables police to link Basso to his blood pouches.
Regarding Astana rider Joseba Beloki: One document refers to him by name with the annotation "HMG-LEPORI, IGF-I, testosterone patches, growth hormones, EPO, and anabolic substances coordinated with his blood transfusion programme.
Regarding Ullrich's team-mate Oscar Sevilla: Investigators spotted him arriving May 13 at the lab and four blood pouches with that date on it correspond to that visit. Same story, different days for Santiago Botero and Jörg Jaksche.
Regarding ex-Liberty Seguros manager Manolo Saiz: Wiretap of a May 18 conversation between Labarta and Fuentes: "Listen, the fat man [Manolo Saiz] called me, I don't want to say everything over the phone, but we've agreed on a day so he can pay me."
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Disgraced doctor treated footballers and athletes
MADRID: The doctor at the centre of the Spanish doping investigation has said he treated footballers, athletes and tennis players as well as cyclists.
However, Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, who was held for questioning by police in May, denied that his methods could be classed as doping.
Fuentes's declarations come in stark contrast to a statement released by the Spanish Government on Tuesday that said no footballers or tennis players were implicated in the investigation.
"I'm angry about the whole matter," Fuentes told the Cadena Ser radio station on Wednesday.
"Names have appeared of people that I don't even know and there are others that haven't come out and I've no idea why but my professional oath forbids me from revealing their names.
"Treatment only for cyclists? I'm also indignant about that. I've worked with other sports, like athletics, tennis and football. There are a lot of names that haven't come out, there has been only selective leaks. I don't know why.
"I've worked with Spanish football teams from the first and second divisions that have improved their performance. If I haven't carried out the treatment myself I have recommended it to them."
The investigation came to light when the Spanish Civil Guard raided a number of addresses in Madrid and Zaragoza in late May and found large quantities of anabolic steroids, laboratory equipment used for blood transfusions and more than 100 bags of frozen blood.
Fuentes, the sporting director of the former Liberty Seguros cycling team, Manolo Saiz, and the assistant director of the Comunidad Valenciana team, Jose Ignacio Labarta, were among those questioned by the police.
Their report on the investigation included the names of over 50 professional cyclists, prompting several teams to withdraw leading riders from this year's Tour de France, including pre-race favourites Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Francisco Mancebo.
International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said afterwards that footballers, tennis players and athletes were also on the list.
Fuentes denied that the methods he used could be classed as doping, but admitted that he was unlikely to continue treating sportsmen in the future.
"They are biological treatments to help the recovery of sportsmen," he said. "You cannot manipulate the blood. You can take it out because there may be health problems or problems with its regulation.
"You can replace it if the life of the sportsman is in danger or maybe not. My aim is to care for my patients.
"You feel bad because you know that you have not committed any crime. I know that my credibility has been so damaged by this that it will be difficult to carry on in sports medicine, but I have other plans in my life."
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Spanish doctor defends his methods
MADRID - The doctor at the centre of the Spanish doping investigation has defended himself by saying that the objective of the treatment he administered to sportsmen was to safeguard their health.
“I’m a doctor and I want to protect the health of my clients and not damage it,” Fuentes told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser yesterday. “Professional sport demands efforts that are bordering on the inhuman. It is not healthy, it is damaging because it forces the body to its limits.
“Cycling is not the only sport where substances are taken to improve performance. The impression has been given that cycling has a monopoly on this type of activity, but it is not true. I have designed training programmes for football clubs for the season. In football, it is impossible to be in form all season, so my aim was to design a programme that would allow them to be in top form at particular points in the season. When they used up their reserves I would recommend the administration of supplements to replace what they were losing.”
Although Fuentes said he used blood extraction techniques, he said he did not administer banned substances to his clients and said that the quantities of the blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) that were found in the raids were for family use.
He refused to provide the names of any of his clients, saying that his professional oath of secrecy prevented him from revealing their identity, but said the police report included some sportsmen he had never even heard of.
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Auch Pantani war Kunde bei Fuentes
Wie die italienische Tageszeitung Corriere della Sera berichtet, soll auch der im Frühjahr 2004 an einer Überdosis Kokain verstorbene Marco Pantani Kunde von Eufemiano Fuentes gewesen sein.
Der spanische Mediziner, ehemals Teamarzt vom Maonolo Saiz-Rennstall ONCE und Kelme, steht im Zentrum des jüngsten Blutdopingskandals. Offenbar befindet sich die Zeitung im Besitz von Informationen, wonach Pantani seit dem Jahr 2003 mit dem spanischen Mediziner zusammenarbeitete.
Der Giro- und Toursieger von 1998 werde in den Aufzeichnungen von Fuentes unter dem Codenamen PTI geführt und habe mehr als 40.000 Einheiten EPO sowie Wachstumshormone, Anabolika und außerdem Hormone erhalten, die üblicherweise bei Frauen in der Menopause angewendet werden.
Die Untersuchungen der spanischen Behörden hätten ergeben, dass Pantani für die Lieferungen insgesamt 36.000 Euro gezahlt habe.
Fuentes und seine Komplizen hätten zwischen 2002 und 2006 mit ihren Dopinggeschäften vermutlich mindestens acht Millionen Euro verdient.
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T-Mobile ontslaat Ullrich
HAMBURG - De Duitse wielerploeg T-Mobile heeft vrijdag zijn kopman Jan Ullrich op staande voet ontslagen. De Duitser wordt verdacht van betrokkenheid bij het dopingschandaal in Spanje en werd daarom vlak voor de Tour op non-actief gesteld door formatie.
Ullrich bevestigt dat hij een ontslagbrief heeft ontvangen. "Dit ontslag accepteer ik niet", reageerde de wielerprof. "Ik ben zeer teleurgesteld dat ze mij deze mededeling niet persoonlijk vertellen, maar dat ik een fax van advocaten krijg."
Eerder verscheurde T-Mobile al het contract van ploegleider Rudy Pevenage, die eveneens bij dopingaffaire betrokken zou zijn. Ook de Spanjaard Oscar Sevilla, die eveneens in het Spaans onderzoeksrapport wordt genoemd, krijg zijn congé.
Volgens de advocaten van Ullrich is er geen enkele grond voor het ontslag. Volgende week spreken beide partijen met elkaar. "Als we dan geen akkoord bereiken, gaan we het ontslag aanvechten", reageerde Wolfgang Strohband, de manager van de voormalig Tourwinnaar.
Op zijn website haalt Ullrich hard uit naar zijn werkgever. "Ik vind het schaamteloos dat ik na een jarenlange samenwerking als een faxnummer behandeld wordt. Zeker als je weet wat ik allemaal voor het team gedaan heb."
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Fuentes hield praktijk in Hamburg
Eufemiano Fuentes heeft volgens de Duitse tv-zender ARD in de aanloop naar de Ronde van Frankrijk ook praktijk gehouden in Hamburg. Bronnen rond de onderzoekers van de zaak zeggen dat wielrenners daar in de periode van eind mei tot eind juni terecht konden voor bloedtransfusies. Daarvoor had Fuentes een appartement en een hotelkamer gehuurd.
Uit documenten die de politie in Madrid heeft gevonden staat dat het Spaanse dopingnetwerk de werkzaamheden naar het buitenland had verlegd toen die in eigen land onmogelijk werden. Op een agendapagina van 20 juni, anderhalve week voor de start van de Tour, staat dat Fuentes die dag 'nummer 1' in Hamburg zou behandelen. Dat was waarschijnlijk Jan Ullrich.
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Spanish doping investigation hits legal complications
MADRID - Spain's investigation against a doping ring in cycling has become bogged down in a complex series of legal disputes that could prevent action against those implicated in the scandal, daily El Mundo reported on Friday.
The probe known as Operacion Puerto was launched after raids on addresses in Madrid and Zaragoza in May in which police found large quantities of anabolic steroids, laboratory equipment used for blood transfusions and more than 100 bags of frozen blood.
The former sporting director of the Liberty Seguros team Manolo Saiz, doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and the former assistant director of the Comunidad Valenciana team Jose Ignacio Labarta were among those questioned by police.
Doping itself is not punishable under Spanish law but Fuentes was subsequently accused of offences against public health.
As a result of the raids, the Civil Guard compiled a list of over 50 professional cyclists who were implicated in the probe, several of whom were prevented from participating in this year's Tour de France by their respective teams.
El Mundo said the investigation was in danger of running aground because of legal objections raised by several of those implicated in the scandal.
Saiz has brought a case claiming irregularities in one of the documents, while cyclists from the former Liberty Seguros team have taken another out accusing the Spanish Cycling Federation of revealing protected data and damaging their reputations.
The paper said legal sources informed them that the case against Fuentes could be dropped if the blood and plasma from the transfusions had been conserved correctly.
They also said the evidence collected could only be used in legal cases and not as the basis for sporting punishments against any of the implicated cyclists.
El Mundo said this was the reason why charges against Italian cyclist Ivan Basso had been dropped by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) earlier this month.
Earlier this week, German Jan Ullrich published a Spanish court document on his Web site saying he was not being accused of any offence as a result of Operation Puerto.
The director of Spain's government-run Sports Council (CSD) Rafael Blanco said the new cases were deliberately designed to muddy the waters over the investigation.
"There are some people who are against doping and others who aren't," Blanco was quoted as saying in El Mundo. "But this will not divert us from our zero-tolerance policy towards doping."
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Spanish parliament passes tough anti-doping bill
The Spanish parliament approved a bill on Thursday that will establish tough measures to tackle doping in sport.
The bill is scheduled to become law in the next six months and rather than targeting sports competitors is designed to hit the supply networks and individuals who administer drugs.
"This is a big step forward. The principle of zero tolerance is going to become a reality in this country," said sports minister Jaime Lissavetzky. "Sportsmen support this law. They said it wasn't fair that only the competitors suffered. If it is possible to prove the people behind the sportsmen are encouraging and facilitating the use of drugs, they will go to jail.
"Doping itself will be a crime. This will make it easier to get convictions from a legal point of view."
At present in Spain, people accused of being involved in doping can only be convicted if it is proved they have committed a crime against the public health.
The toughest punishments that will become available include prison sentences of between six months and two years, although penalties may be reduced if people collaborate.
Those convicted of encouraging the use of drugs could be suspended from their positions, while medical staff involved in administering the drugs could have their licences suspended and face steep fines.
Judicial processes will be streamlined and a new body, the Spanish Anti-doping Agency, will be charged with the prevention, control and investigation of doping within the country.
It will have the power to organise surprise blood tests away from sporting events, as well as planned ones, and it will be a criminal offence to refuse to take a test.
There is an ongoing anti-doping investigation in Spain that came to light following police raids in May, which turned up large quantities of anabolic steroids, frozen blood and equipment used for blood transfusions. Cyclists implicated in the investigation have been told they will not face punishment by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC), in line with a decree from the judge in charge of the case.
But the investigation continues to pursue team officials and employees implicated in the scandal.
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High levels of EPO found in seized bags of blood-reports
MADRID, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Some of the bags of blood seized in the Operacion Puerto police investigation in Spain have been found to have high levels of EPO in them, Spanish media said on Friday.
A laboratory in Barcelona has reported its findings to the judge in charge of the investigation after analysing bags of blood found in two apartments belonging to doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
The artificial form of EPO was reportedly found in eight out of around 90 bags that were analysed. EPO stimulates the production of red blood cells, increasing oxygen-carrying capacity and therefore improving endurance.
A lawyer representing Fuentes, Julian Perez Templado, told Spanish daily El Mundo: "We have nothing official about the results of the tests.
"But the fact that they have discovered EPO in the bags of blood does not signify that it is a crime against the public health. That is what the defendants are being judged on."
Doping is not yet a criminal offence in Spain, so the defendants are being accused of crimes against the public health. Cyclists linked with the investigation will not be charged but could be called as witnesses.
The Spanish Cycling Federation has shelved disciplinary proceedings against cyclists with the investigation still on-going.
The government backed anti-doping probe hit the headlines in May after Civil Guard raided addresses in Madrid and Zaragoza.
They found large quantities on anabolic steroids, equipment used for blood transfusions and more than 100 frozen bags of blood.
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Judge to throw out doping case, papers say
MADRID, March 10 (Reuters) - The judge leading the investigation into a cycling doping ring will dismiss the case because of lack of evidence that any offence has been committed under Spanish law, media reported on Saturday.
Several Spanish newspapers published extracts of a leaked report from judge Antonio Serrano, saying doping practices had occurred but adding there was insufficient evidence to prosecute for the offence of endangering public health.
They said that the decision would be made official on Monday.
Doping itself was not punishable under Spanish law when the charges were brought in May last year and the judge said that the case was not subject to new legislation introduced since.
"This case took place because of a lack of fair play to say the least," read an extract from Serrano's report published in several newspapers.
"However, in contrast to the law in France and Italy, there was no law that penalised doping practices under Spanish legislation at the time this case was begun."
The decision will be seen as a huge blow to the fight against doping in cycling and could open the way for the accused to seek compensation.
The state prosecutor, the Spanish Cycling Federation and former cyclist Jesus Manzano who has said that doping practices were common when he rode for the Kelme team, can all appeal against the decision.
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Fuentes is weer actief
AMSTERDAM - Er zijn serieuze aanwijzingen dat de Spaanse dopingdokter Eufemiano Fuentes weer actief is. De UCI stuurt deze week een brief naar de Spaanse staatssecretaris van Sport, Jaime Lissavetzky.
T-Mobile-manager Luuc Eisenga beaamt dat er inderdaad in het wielerpeloton geluiden gonzen van die aard. "Ik heb die geruchten ook gehoord. Het zou in ieder geval een kwalijke zaak zijn als dat zo is. Maar ja, moeten we niet eerst eens Operacion Puerto verder uitzoeken? Voorlopig liggen er nog 90 bloedzakken in Spanje en we weten nog steeds niet van wie die zijn.."
"Ik heb vernomen dat Fuentes weer door lijkt te gaan met illegale praktijken", zegt Rabobank-manager Theo de Rooij. "Daarom is het ook van belang dat Operacion Puerto op de juiste manier wordt afgesloten. Op grond van de feiten, zoals wij die kennen, zou je bepaalde renners op sportieve gronden kunnen aanpakken. Sinds september is de dopingwetgeving in Spanje ook aangepast. Er kunnen dus maatregelen genomen worden."
Commercieel manager van Milram, Gerry van Gerwen, opteert voor een rigoureuze aanpak van eventuele betrokkenen. "Er komen uit een bepaalde hoek inderdaad coureurs die zo snel fietsen dat grote kampioenen tot rennertjes van niets gedegradeerd worden. Iedereen heeft dan wel door dat er iets niet klopt. Mocht Fuentes inderdaad weer actief zijn en zouden renners zich met hem inlaten, dan moet er keihard worden opgetreden."