Fight to save doping in sport evidence from destruction

Blood bags removed in a raid on the doctor's clinic have been kept for seven years.
Blood bags removed in a raid on the doctor's clinic have been kept for seven years. Photo: Guardia Civil Ministerio del Interior

A fight is on to preserve evidence of possible drug-taking by international footballers after a Spanish judge ordered blood bags that could expose some of the sport's famous names to be destroyed.

The blood samples were evidence in the trial of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, who received a suspended one year jail term for his blood doping services to cyclists.

Read: Doctor's client list could leave a stain on the sporting world.

Dr Eufemiano Fuentes received a suspended one year jail term.
Dr Eufemiano Fuentes received a suspended one year jail term. Credit: REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Since a raid on Dr Fuentes' clinic seven years ago, more than 200 coded blood bags and supporting documentation relating to stars from a variety of sports were kept by police.

Today's ruling may mean the identities of those who used the doctor's services will never be found revealed.

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott reports from Madrid:

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson said the body was "disappointed" in the judge's decision.

"Dr Fuentes has admitted to having been involved in multiple prohibited doping activities, and linked with multiple unnamed athletes", Mr Parkinson said.

"It therefore cannot be right that these names will remain unknown and that no immediate action can be taken by the anti-doping community to protect our clean athletes".

Tennis star Andy Murray also blasted the ruling, calling it "beyond a joke" and the "biggest cover-up in sports history":

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operacion puerto case is beyond a joke... biggest cover up in sports history? why would court order blood bags to be destroyed? #coverup