MADRID (AFP) — Spanish physician Francisco Aguanell, who was to provide expert testimony on Wednesday in the Operación Puerto doping case, died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday.
Aguanell examined ex-Kelme rider Jesus Manzano extensively and was a key prosecution witness in the case against Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and four others. Carlos Sanchez Peribanez, lawyer for Manzano, who put the police on the trail of Dr. Fuentes in 2004, confirmed Aguanell’s death.
“He died suddenly yesterday morning [Tuesday] a cardiac arrest,” Sanchez told AFP.
Aguanell was scheduled to present his medical report detailing Manzano’s health problems, which the rider claims are tied to his use of transfusions and doping products, on Wednesday. Because Fuentes and his co-defendants face public health charges, the report is viewed as key evidence in the prosecution’s case.
“The report will, however, be read at the hearing, and we have also a second, another doctor,” said Sanchez.
Manzano, who detailed in 2004 the doping practices within his former Kelme team in Spanish newspaper AS, is expected to testify on Wednesday.