Hamilton official Puerto witness; Fuentes admits working with athletes across sports
MADRID (VN) — Tyler Hamilton will be an official witness in the Operación Puerto trial, a presiding judge ruled Tuesday morning.
Lawyers and judges hammered out several key points outlining the legal framework ahead of hearings Tuesday to open testimony in the Puerto case.
Hamilton could appear in court or provide testimony via video, the judge ruled. Details of when and how the ex-pro would provide testimony will be finalized later.
Hamilton is seen as a key prosecution witness in the trial, which opened Monday with hundreds of journalists and photographers descending on a Madrid courtroom.
Hamilton was a client of alleged Puerto ringleader Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes from 2002 to 2004. According to ESPN.com, the World Anti-Doping Agency encouraged Hamilton to provide written testimony to the Spanish court ahead of the start of the hearing Monday.
In testimony later Tuesday, Fuentes said he had worked athletes in “all kinds” of sports.
“I worked with individual sportspersons… of all kinds,” he said.
The court reconfirmed that the hearing would be limited to questions of public health. Other issues, such as money laundering or questions of doping in sport, will not be considered during the two-month hearing.
The question of blood bags will be considered over the coming days. The judge ruled that the Spanish anti-doping agency and WADA will have three days to provide the court written documents outlining why they want access to up to 200 bags of blood and plasma that remain in the custody of courts.
Fuentes’ computers will not be allowed to be used as evidence. The judge ruled that it would breach invasion of privacy rules if information gleaned from Fuentes’ computers during police raids in 2006 were used.
Blood and other medicines collected during police raids will carry the same legal definition.
Editor’s note: Agence France Presse reported earlier Tuesday that Fuentes admitted “doping” athletes. He admitted to “working” with athletes in other sports.