MADRID (AFP) — Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who is on trial for allegedly masterminding one of sport’s most notorious doping rings, said Wednesday he would be willing to give the names of his former sports clients to the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency if asked to do so.
“If they felt I was useful and they asked me, I would consider it and would be willing. What I don’t know is if what I would give them would be worthwhile to them or not,” he said at his trial. “If, within this cooperation such a list was necessary, they would have it.”
Fuentes is on trial with his sister Yolanda and three other defendants from cycling teams in one of the most high-profile cases in sport over a blood doping racket, with dozens of suspects in cycling and possibly other sports.
The five are accused of endangering public health but not incitement to doping, which was not a crime in Spain at the time of their arrests in 2006 as part of the Operación Puerto investigation. Police raids in May 2006 saw the seizure of some 200 bags of tampered blood labeled with a complex system of codes and a virtual pharmacy of performance-enhancing substances including EPO, human-growth hormone, and steroids.
Fuentes told the court at the start of his trial in January that he worked on a private basis with athletes from a wide range of sports, not just cycling, to help them deal with anemia issues and not performance-enhancing doping.
He reiterated his innocence on Wednesday as he left the courthouse.
“Everything which I did I did in accordance with the laws in place at the time. In 35 years I have not caused any harm to any patient. To regret having carried out my professional work as best as I could would not make any sense,” he told reporters.
Earlier on Wednesday, a lawyer representing cycling world governing body, the UCI, Pablo Jimenez de Parga, said Fuentes should be made an example of for running possibly “the biggest doping network the world has ever seen.”
The sentences imposed on Fuentes and his four co-accused by the court if they are found guilty will show how committed the Spanish authorities are to eradicating doping. The five accused face up to two years in prison.
“The moment has arrived where all the world will know what is the response Spain will give to this type of conduct,” said Jimenez.