Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased with the decision taken by the Madrid Court of Appeal to provide access to stored Operation Puerto blood and plasma bags of athletes from cycling and other sports. “WADA acknowledges the Madrid Court of Appeal for having reached the decision to provide anti-doping authorities with this crucial evidence,” said WADA Director General, David Howman. “We are dismayed that it took so long to receive the decision but we will now partner with the other parties that have been granted access [to the blood bags], to determine our legal options vis-à-vis analysing the blood and plasma bags.”
Operation Puerto is a Spanish Police investigation into a doping ring led by Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. In 2006, 211 blood and plasma bags were seized from the offices of Dr. Fuentes who was then handed a one-year suspended sentence for endangering public health. The investigation also resulted in anti-doping rule violations for five cyclists; and, led to suspicion of numerous as yet unnamed athletes from other sports that had been treated by Dr. Fuentes. For years, WADA asked Spanish authorities to provide the Agency and partner anti-doping organisations with access to the blood and plasma bags so that any anti-doping rule violations could be pursued. In April 2013, the Criminal Court of Madrid ordered the destruction of the blood and plasma bags – a decision that WADA appealed in May 2013. WADA will make no further comment at this time.
• This media release was originally published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 14 June 2016. To access the original, please click here.