Prosecutor To Appeal Operation Puerto Blood Bag Destruction

Operación Puerto

MADRID, May 17, 2013 (AFP) – The public prosecutor in the Operation Puerto
case in which Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was sentenced to a year in
prison has signaled its intention to appeal his sentence and the destruction
of more than 200 blood bags seized from his apartments.

Fuentes was found guilty of endangering public health along with one of his
co-accused Jose Ignacio Labarta, who was given a four-month sentence, in
performing blood extractions and transfusions on a number of high profile
cyclists.

Three others, Yolanda Fuentes, Vicente Belda and Manolo Saiz, were all
found not guilty, but the case attracted particularly bad press for Judge
Julia Patricia Santamaria’s decision to order the blood bags belonging to
clients of Fuentes be destroyed rather than released to anti-doping
authorities for inspection.

A spokesman for public prosecutor confirmed on Friday that they will join
the Italian Olympic Committee in appealing that decision, whilst the
International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEA)
have also signaled their intention to appeal.

Moreover, the public prosecutor will ask for the sentences given to Fuentes
and Labarta to be extended to two years and that a four-year ban against
Fuentes practicing in sports medicine be extended to all forms of medical
practice.

The decision to absolve Saiz of any responsibility will also be appealed
with a two-year sentence being requested for the former head of the ONCE and
Liberty Seguros cycling teams, but the public prosecutor is satisfied with the
decision made by Judge Santamaria in relation to Yolanda Fuentes.

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