Thursday, September 20, 2012

Operacion Puerto Reboot (Update #1)

Shane Stokes at Velonation has a report on the status of Operacion Puerto and Dr Eufemiano Fuentes:
...it appears that the Operacion Puerto affair might be nearing a conclusion. Grand Tour winners Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso and Michele Scarponi are amongst 35 witnesses which have been called to the trial of six defendants, which will be held between January 28th and March 22nd of next year.
Unfortunately, it appears that cyclists continue to be the only athletes identified, despite reports that "Dr Fuentes himself confirmed in the media that he had worked with athletes from several sports, including tennis, athletics, boxing, football as well as cyclists."

The reports of tennis involvement resulted in awkward press conference involving Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2006. You can read the transcript here.

In response to the alleged involvement of tennis players, the International Tennis Federation stated in 2006 that "We have contacted the appropriate Spanish authorities and have been assured in writing by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science that no tennis players, either Spanish or foreign, are under investigation."

Of course, stating that no tennis players "are under investigation" does not mean that no tennis players were clients of Dr Fuentes.

I don't know about you, but this sounds like rich material for an investigative journalist. 

Update #1:

Comments from Spanish Sports Minister Miguel Cardenal:

“That is very good news that we can finally close this episode with the clarity of an independent justice body...It’s very satisfactory that our country, like any other, insists in an independent body of justice that will reveal the truth about what happened with this episode...You have to respect the rights of those accused, and it’s no different here...Would it be better if justice was served much quicker? Sure. But it’s better to do things properly rather than poorly.”

If Spain was serious they would hand over the full list of athletes to all relevant anti-doping authorities.

8 comments:

  1. Don't hold your breath that any "Spanish heroes" will be convicted, or any information released that will be embarasing to them.

    EVERY single elite Spanish athlete that has ever been accused of impropriety has been "exonerated" by the Spanish judiciary.

    Nothing but a slap on the wrists will be handed down to "non-heroes" (doctors, trainers,...).

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  2. As an example of the commitment of the UCI towards clean cycling and anti-doping they are suing anti-doping journalist Paul Kimmage. Note they are suing only him and not the papers that published the story. An attempt to enforce omerta.

    You might think the ITF is bad but they are nothing on the UCI.

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  3. Something that has been mentioned and perhaps Richard Ings can confirm/explain. The WADA statue of limitations. If it is 8 years and the doping took place upto 2005 - 2006. Is statute of limitations in this case based on when the doping took place or when it was uncovered?

    For example would a rider who doped under Fuentes in 2003 be outside the WADA statute of limitations while a rider who doped in 2005-6 be under the statute?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The USADA case against Armstrong stripped titles beyond the strict interpretation of the 8-year statute of limitations.

      A few months ago, WADA's David Howman had this to say about the limitation period:

      VN: Under the WADA Code there is a statute of limitations of eight years. This week, USADA announced a decision where that was overruled because the athlete had lied during his original testimony. It meant that results were stripped going back as far as 2001.

      In this situation, would that eight year statute of limitations apply?

      DH: Well, I think that case gives you a very good example on how it can work. It does apply, but the issue is when does it apply from. You have always got that interpretation to go through. It is not as simple as just marking off the calendar and saying ‘we can’t ask anything about January 1 onwards,’ because it is outside that eight year limit. It is not as simple as that. Nor is it in any country where there is any statute of limitations. So again it is one case at a time. In the recent USADA case you referred to, that is an indicator as to how that can work.

      Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/11077/David-Howman-Interview-WADAs-director-general-speaks-about-ArmstrongUSPS-investigation.aspx#ixzz272QUvsUp

      Delete
    2. Here's another bit of info on being able to disregard the statute of limitations:

      "The USADA is relying on the decision issued by the American Arbitration Association in the case of Eddy Hellebuyk, a marathoner suspended from the sport on doping charges, where the AAA determined that due to prior perjury, he would not be able to avail himself of the statute of limitations...If an accused acts in such a way as to prevent the discovery of the harm done (this has to go beyond merely being silent about it) - meaning the instrumentalities under his control were used to thwart the finding of a violation - equitable tolling could come into play to extend the statute of limitations beyond the statutory limits."

      http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/legal-opinion-armstrongs-arguments-against-usada

      I'll let those with legal knowledge give an opinion on what this all means.

      Either way, Spain has done an admirable job of at least attempting to run out the clock on the Puerto file.

      Delete
  4. Petition calling for McQuaid's resignation.

    If you care about drug free sport then please sign it, retweet it etc

    McQuaid and his cronies must go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bah, forgot to post the url

      https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/world-cycling-organization-uci-for-president-pat-mcquaid-to-resign-and-cycling-to-be-cleaned-up

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing , i really like it
    That is very good news that we can finally close this episode with the clarity of an independent justice body...It’s very satisfactory that our country, like any other, insists in an independent body of justice that will reveal the truth about what happened with this episode
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    ReplyDelete