MADRID, May 10, 2013 (AFP) – The International Cycling Union (UCI)
confirmed on Friday they will appeal against the decision by a Spanish court
to refuse access to more than 200 sachets of blood that were seized in the
Operation Puerto case against disgraced Dr Eufemiano Fuentes.
“The UCI can confirm that it will appeal the decision of the Madrid court
of 29 April not to release to the UCI and other anti-doping organisations the
more than 200 bags of blood and other evidence gathered in police raids in
2006, which were presented in the trial of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes,”
read a statement published by the UCI.
In appealing, cycling’s world governing body are following in the footsteps
of the Spanish anti-doping agency (AEA), who had already announced their
intention to appeal against judge Julia Patricia Santamaria’s decision to ring
fence the evidence.
“I have to ask the judge to give me whatever documentary or natural
evidence there is, along with the blood bags, so that the proven facts that
she herself considers as administrative infractions can be judged by the
competent authorities,” said the then-head of the AEA, Ana Munoz.
A Madrid court last month handed Fuentes a one year suspended sentence for
endangering public health in the way he performed blood extractions and
transfusions on a number of high-profile cyclists before the doping ring was
dismantled in 2006.
In addition, trainer Ignacio Labarta was condemned to four months in
prison, while three other co-accused — Eufemiano’s sister Yolanda Fuentes,
Vicente Belda and Manolo Saiz — were cleared.
However, judge Santamaria refused access to the 211 blood and plasma bags
that were found in Fuentes’ apartments in 2006.
Instead, she ruled that they should be destroyed.