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Fuentes back in headlines as center of new doping scandal

2010 Fuentes scandal
Journalists gather in front of a Guardia Civil police station in Palencia after Spanish police questioned world steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez. AFP PHOTO / CESAR MANSO

Spain’s notorious Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes of Operacion Puerto fame is back in the headlines again after being one of the top figures in the latest doping scandal erupting in Spain, this time focused on athletics.

Fuentes was among 14 people arrested by Spanish authorities on the latest doping sweep in an investigation dating back to April that focused on alleged doping practices in athletics. The reigning steeplechase world champion Marta Dominguez was among those implicated.

Dubbed Operacion Galgo, Spain’s Guardia Civil raided homes and offices in Alicante, Las Palmas, Palencia, Madrid and Segovia. Agents found EPO, anabolic steriods and blood bags among other alleged doping products that indicated a large doping ring centering on track and field athletes.

Fuentes, who was the center of the Puerto doping ring that allegedly included dozens of top cyclists and other athletes, was among those arrested. Also implicated were his sister, Yolanda Fuentes, and Alberto Leon, an ex-mountain biker, both of whom were part of the Puerto ring.

Six of the 14 people arrested have already been granted bail on Sunday by a Spanish judge, but they still have pending charges against them that could include jail and fines under a new anti-doping law approved in the wake of the Puerto scandal in 2006. Others will appear before the judge in the coming days.

Police accused Dominguez, who was immediately suspended from her role as vice president of the Spanish athletics federation, of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to other athletes and running an offshore account to move the money.

So far, it appears the latest doping scandal involves high-profile Spanish track and field athletes.

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