Operacion Puerto, the Spanish blood-doping ring dating back to 2006, isn’t dead yet.
According to AS, the World Anti-Doping agency is trying to reveal the names of 26 men and three women whose identities are confirmed via blood bags collected in police raids in May 2006. Authorities want to at least give official notification to the respective governing bodies.
Dozens of professional cyclists, as well as other professional athletes from athletics, triathlon and other sports, were linked to one of the largest doping rings ever uncovered in Europe.
Most of the names were never released and Spanish courts blocked previous efforts to reveal the names. The case was mired in a string of complicated legal issues involving privacy, statute of limitations and the reach of anti-doping laws in Spain at the time of the raids in May 2006. Once a long-running trial ended in Spain in 2016, WADA was handed custody of many of the infamous blood bags linked to Fuentes.
Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde eventually served a two-year ban when he was linked to one of the blood bags taken from Fuentes’s labs. Several other top pros, including Thomas Dekker, Tyler Hamilton, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, and Ivan Basso, later admitted their links to the doping conspiracy.
Several others, however, remain unknown. That could change as WADA continues to put pressure on the case and AS reported that the world anti-doping body will address the issue during its annual meeting next month.