Spain’s anti-doping authority will appeal for Fuentes blood bags

Ann Munoz, director of Spain's anti-doping agency, says she will fight to gain custody of the 200-plus Puerto blood bags

MADRID (AFP) — Spain’s state anti-doping agency said it would appeal a court ruling that blood bags confiscated from a medical doctor who was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison for performing blood transfusions on top cyclists be destroyed.

In her ruling, Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria said Eufemiano Fuentes offered the blood doping treatments for money, posing a “significant risk to the health” of those receiving the blood and banned him from practicing as a sports doctor for four years.

She also refused to give the World Anti-Doping Agency or any other anti-doping authority access to the 211 blood bags seized in 2006 from Fuentes’ apartments in police raids as part of the Operación Puerto investigation.

Instead, she ordered the bags of blood, which could identify other sportsmen implicated in the scandal, to be destroyed once any appeals have been settled.

“All I can say is that I want to continue to work on this. For me, Operación Puerto is not over,” the director of Spain’s State Anti-Doping Agency, Ana Munoz, told a news conference after the court issued its ruling.

“I am going to ask the judge for any evidence of whatever nature, including the bags, so that these acts which she herself considers to be infractions can be judged by the competent authorities,” she added.

During his trial, Fuentes said he worked with clients from other sports including football, tennis, athletics, and boxing, but he did not name them. Under Spanish law, Fuentes will not serve a prison term for his sentence of less than two years since he has no previous convictions.