Ten years on from the infamous Operation Puerto case which implicated over fifty cyclists, the incriminating blood bags will finally be released.
In 2006, Spanish police raided the clinic of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, finding 211 coded blood bags. Among the cyclists suspended in the aftermath of the raid were former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich and Spanish Vuelta champion Alejandro Valverde.
During the subsequent criminal proceedings, Fuentes revealed that he treated athletes from across many sports, including football. He offered to name all of his clients but Judge Julia Santamaria siad that he did not have to name anyone that was not implicated in the original raid.
Full disclosure of Fuentes’ list of clients would never be achieved, it seemed, as the judge decided that the blood bags should be destroyed, rather than have them handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
WADA lodged an appeal against the decision, and today that appeal has been upheld. The blood bags will now be handed over to them, the UCI and the Italian Olympic Committee.
We don’t yet know who will be implicated in these findings but we should expect some big news in the coming weeks.