News 14 June 2016

Madrid court rules blood bag release despite timing difficulties

The Provincial Court of Madrid has ruled that blood bags seized as part of a major doping investigation in 2006 should be handed over to anti-doping authorities for investigation.

On 30 April 2013, when sentencing Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes following a 2006 raid in which over 200 bags of blood and plasma were seized, a Spanish court ruled that the blood bags should be destroyed.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Spanish anti-doping agency (AEPSAD) appealed this decision and last week Spanish distance runner Jesús España launched a petition to allow the transfer of the evidence in the Operación Puerto case to the anti-doping authorities.

The court ruling is three weeks after the tenth anniversary in which Operación Puerto revealed a doping network involving some of the world’s top cyclists, including Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich and Spanish Vuelta champion Alejandro Valverde. The 2015 World Anti-Doping Code Statute of Limitations is ten years.

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