Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fuentes and his other clients

Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes during
Tuesday's hearing in Madrid.
During the Tuesday’s hearing in Madrid, Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, made it clear that he didn’t just dope cyclists but in fact “all kind of athletes - football players, tennis players, boxers…”.

So far Fuentes has only named a handful of clients by name, but according to the Spanish doctor he would be able to identify every single code name on the list, if he had too. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem likely.

It’s important to remember that this hearing is not about if Fuentes doped athletes or not - he already admitted to blood transfusions – because that wasn’t illegal in Spain until November 2006. Eufemiano Fuentes is “only” facing charges of an “offense against public health” and therefore he doesn’t need to mention any specific names.

Whistleblower and former Kelme rider, Jesus Maria Manzano, is set to witness in February but has already said that he saw several football players during his visits to Fuentes’ clinic in Madrid. French newspaper, Le Monde, made in 2006 a connection between Barcelona and Dr. Fuentes claiming they were in position of doping calendars for several Barcelona players like the ones seen for the Liberty Seguros riders. Barcelona sued Le Monde and journalist Stéphane Mandard and won. In the end Le Monde was set to pay Barcelona a fine of €15.000 for “damaging the club’s honor”.

In recent years Eufemiano Fuentes has been linked to the football world numerous times and when arrested during Operacion Galgo a cellmate of Fuentes told a Spanish a newspaper that Fuentes had said: “If I start talking, we won’t have the European Championship nor the World Cup”. Fuentes later made a written statement denying ever to have said those words.

I doubt Eufemiano Fuentes will start dropping names but at least he made it clear that it’s not only cyclists he has been taking care of. Tennis star Nova Djokovic recently said that he was sure tennis players were the most clean athletes. Djokovic also admitted he hadn’t been blood tested in more than half a year. Same story in football as UEFA claim that Barcelona only had 3 surprise anti-doping controls in the 2010/11 season. To compare it Fabian Cancellara wrote on Twitter back December 2010 that he had had 55 anti-doping tests last year.

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