Thursday, 7 December 2006

Blood doping and death threats

Eufemiano Fuentes, last JulyEufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of a cycling blood doping scandal, who was arrested last May by Spanish police and is the subject of a major investigation, is linked in today's Le Monde to a number of Spanish clubs: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Betis.

The French daily claims to have seen a set of confidential documents, handwritten by the doctor, in which he sets out the "training plans" for the four Spanish clubs during the 2005-2006 season. In an interview with the paper, Dr. Fuentes is asked whether he had ever worked for either Real Madrid or Barcelona. His response is something out of the pages of a thriller: "I cannot answer that. I have received death threats. I was told that if I revealed certain things, I or my family could have serious problems. I was threatened three times, and I won't be threatened a fourth time.".

Fuentes claims to be innocent of the "crime against public health" which he has been charged with: "In my twenty-nine years as a doctor, none of my clients has ever had the least heath issue. I am committed to protecting the health of those sports professionals who ask for my help.".

Of course, there's little or no proof that any of the allegations are true. The denials from the various clubs have already begun. It is unlikely that any of these claims will come out during Fuentes' trial, as conveniently, only Le Monde has had access to the "confidential documents". However, it has already been noted that doping tests during the last FIFA World Cup did not include blood analyses, which could determine whether any players had benefited from blood doping. Perhaps this is something that needs revisiting.

1 comment:

monter said...

Thanks for keeping up with the latest news, Gonzalo.

Clubs and players, including Ronaldo, denied these accusations. I just hope it doesn't distract the players from tonight big clash.

BTW, Gonzalo, why not add a bit of more info in your profile?

You're doing good work down here buddy, keep it up.