Puerto trial postponed after Spanish fed asks for reduced sentences

WADA attorney reiterates desire for Puerto blood bags to be handed over, but the UCI mum at Fuentes trial

MADRID (AFP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency has reiterated its call for the blood bags confiscated from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes to be handed over for inspection.

Fuentes is currently on trial in Madrid, accused of endangering public health by performing blood transfusions on a number of high-profile cyclists.

However, very few of Fuentes’ clients have ever been named publicly and WADA is keen to find out which athletes were involved.

“The blood bags ought to be given to WADA or another competent national body involved in the case to work out their original destination,” said a lawyer acting on WADA’s behalf.

The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) and the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) also repeated their requests for the blood bags to be handed over, but cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, did not ask for delivery of the bags.

In a significant development, the RFEC also reduced its desired sentence for three of Fuentes’ four co-accused, should they be found guilty.

The federation deemed Fuentes’ sister, Yolanda, Manolo Saiz and Vicente Belda to be less culpable than Fuentes and Jose Ignacio Labarta and as such would like to see them receive a jail sentence of just a year and one day rather than the two years asked for by the other prosecutors.

The public prosecutor stood by a request of a two-year jail term for all five accused, however, while WADA asked for a two-year jail term and a professional ban of eight years and three months for all those involved.

Earlier in the day, testimony from former cyclist Alberto Leon was read out in court in which he claimed that not only cyclists, but other well-known sportsmen were treated by Fuentes.

Leon, who committed suicide in 2011 after being implicated in another doping investigation known as Operación Galgo, testified in front of a judge in 2006 during which he said that when he went for a consultation with Fuentes he saw other well-known sporting figures.

“I know there were sportsmen and not just cyclists because some of the faces were familiar,” he said.

The judge postponed the trial until Friday at the request of the defense for more time to respond to the different sentences requested by the prosecuting authorities.