Doping: fuentes and accomplices are on trial

doping: fuentes and accomplices are on trial

According to information from madrid judiciary circles on friday, the trial against the sextet will be held on 28 june. January 2013 in the spanish capital and is expected to last two months.

Prosecution demands two years in prison and a two-year ban for each of the defendants. The doping affair had been uncovered in spring 2006. More than 50 professionals allegedly involved in the biggest doping scandal in the history of spanish cycling.

Among the accused, however, there is no athlete. However, several well-known professional cyclists are to be called as witnesses. According to the state news agency efe, these include alberto contador of spain and ivan basso of italy, who has served a two-year ban for his involvement in the affair.

The accused are the alleged drug doctor fuentes, his sister yolanda, the medical doctor jose luis merino and the three former cycling team leaders manuel saiz, jose ignacio labarta and vicente belda. They are charged with "endangering public health".

The investigations had dragged on for so long because spain did not have an anti-doping law in 2006 and doping was not a criminal offense at the time. The judiciary closed the case several times because the investigators believed that they could not prove that the defendants had endangered the health of the athletes. But the investigations were always reopened.

Prosecutors now accuse fuentes and his aides of making the blood of cyclists thicker and thus endangering the health of the professionals. In addition, she said, blood transfusions were performed in hotel rooms under unsanitary conditions. The blood bags were allegedly transported without the necessary refrigeration and the samples were not clearly labeled.

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