It seems increasingly likely that dozens of drugs cheats that were treated by the convicted doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes will avoid facing prosecution.
When Fuentes premises were raided in 2006 as part of Operacion Puerto there were more than 200 blood bags taken into evidence. Since then the affair has developed into one of the biggest and longest running doping scandals in sporting history.
Over 50 of the blood bags were identified as belong to cyclists but the sources of the remaining bags have never been found. According to Fuentes he had clients including tennis players, boxers, athletes and footballers but he has refused to give any names.
operacion puerto case is beyond a joke… biggest cover up in sports history? why would court order blood bags to be destroyed? #coverup
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) April 30, 2013
Fuentes went on trial in April 2013 and was convicted of breaking public health laws. However, at the same time Judge Julia controversially ordered that the blood bags be destroyed.
Since then there have been appeals from a number of sporting and anti-doping organisations and a ruling on the appeal was meant to have been released at the end of March. However, Fuentes’ lawyer, Jose Miguel Lledo, said last week that the announcement could still be as much as three months away which will make it too late for those that want to hold the cheats to account.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has a 10 year statute of limitations which means that any athletes found to be implicated in the scandal cannot be prosecuted after this June. As a result even if the cheats are named they will never be punished.
The Spanish Anti-Doping Agency, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the court where the case is being held have all said that they have no idea when the ruling on the appeal will be released.