MADRID (AFP) — Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), says the legal processes involved in the Operación Puerto trial here have been “frustrating.”
Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and four co-defendants are accused of endangering public health due to the blood transfusions he administered to a number of high-profile cyclists. No charges involving doping have been filed, as doping was not a crime when the five were arrested back in 2006.
And while Rogge welcomed a proposed new law that will be tougher against doping offenses in Spain, he said it is long overdue.
“I understand very well the legal limitations the judge has to deal with,” he told the newspaper El Mundo.
“That is to say that she cannot rule upon something that was not legislated for, but the fact that she is ruling only upon matters of health and not on doping leads to a very frustrating outcome.
“The new law is very good but it should have been passed years ago.”
Rogge’s words come just a day before an IOC inspection team arrives in Madrid to carry out an assessment on the city’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2020.
Much attention has been made to the bid, coming at a point of economic crisis in Spain, but Rogge doesn’t believe that should derail the bid as much of the infrastructure is already in place after failed bids for the 2012 and 2016 games.
“In the case of Madrid the crisis won’t affect it because the substantial things are almost all already built,” he said.
“There is no need for a huge investment and the city is already ready.”
Tokyo and Istanbul are the other cities still in the race to host the 2020 Games with a final decision to be taken on September 7 in Buenos Aires.