Operation Puerto affair reopened

MADRID, Feb 14, 2008 (AFP) – The Operation Puerto blood-doping affair
involving about 60 cyclists and which erupted in May 2006, has been reopened,
Madrid prosecutors’ said on Thursday.
A raid on the Madrid laboratory of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes uncovered doping products, bags of blood and codenames which appeared to link top athletes to a highly-organised system of doping via blood tranfusions.

So far, only Italy’s top rider, Ivan Basso, has been sanctioned in theIvan Basso affair.

Basso is serving a two-year ban, although dozens of other cyclists –
including Spaniards Alejandro Valverde and Tour de France winner Alberto Contador – have in the past been linked to the controversy.

Last year the affair virtually vanished under the weight of Spanish legal red tape but now the case has officially been reopened and could lead to a major investigation being carried out by the bodies that have been appealing for sanctions to be handed down.