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Lance Armstrong scandal creates a mess in Spain

May 03, 2013|By David Wharton
  • A Madrid court found Eufemiano Fuentes guilty of endangering the health of athletes through blood doping.
A Madrid court found Eufemiano Fuentes guilty of endangering the health… (Dani Pozo / AFP/Getty Images )

The Lance Armstrong doping scandal continues to reverberate through Spain, where authorities have launched an investigation into several figures allegedly linked to the American cyclist.

Prosecutors are looking at Spanish citizens mentioned in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that led Armstrong to confess that he used performance-enhancing drugs to help him win seven Tour de France titles.

The report mentions doctors Luis Garcia del Moral and Pedro Celaya, and trainer Pepe Marti. At this point, the probe is limited to the eastern province of Alicante, the Associated Press reported.

Just days ago, a Madrid court found another doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes, guilty of endangering the health of athletes through blood doping. Not only did the court suspend Fuentes' one-year sentence, but it also cited privacy laws in ordering the destruction of blood bags and other evidence in the case.

That evidence might have implicated numerous athletes.

There has been widespread criticism of the court's decisions in the so-called "Operation Puerto" trial. On Friday, tennis player Rafael Nadal added his voice to a growing chorus that wanted the evidence preserved. He said that destroying the evidence was a "mistake." He added, "The only ones that benefited were the ones who cheated."

Another top tennis player, Andy Murray, tweeted, "operacion puerto case is beyond a joke ... biggest cover up in sports history?"

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