...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.
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.