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The doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto investigation, Eufemiano Fuentes, has said that about 30 per cent of the athletes he has worked with over the years have been cyclists, and has revealed that he has received death threats since the Puerto affair exploded back in May.
Interviewed by Valencia paper Las Provincias, Fuentes said "I have treated cyclists, tennis players, athletes, footballers over the last 25 years. It's hard to say how many cyclists but I would say about 30 per cent [of my clients] have been cyclists, about 20 per cent tennis players, 20 per cent footballers and the other 30 per cent belong to other sports."
Asked why only the names of cyclists had come out in the Puerto investigation, Fuentes responded: "Some sports are better protected than others, and I mean in all ways - number and type of controls, privacy, scandals. In addition, I anticipate that I will tell the judge [overseeing the case] a lot of things I can't say now."
Fuentes also complained about the treatment he has received in the press, pointing out that has been accused of a crime against public health and not of doping, which isn't even a crime in Spain - or at least wasn't until a law was passed just last week. "You can't be accused of one crime and then judged on something else totally different. I've been accused of a crime against public health, but in the press they are carrying on a parallel hearing against me on doping charges," he said, adding that the attention had resulted in him receiving death threats, although he refused to elaborate on this subject.
Fuentes also denied he had had any working link at all with the Comunitat Valenciana team since the end of the 2003 season, and added that he is still owed 26,000 euros by the team for work he did with them that year. "I can categorically say that none of the bags of blood or plasma [found by police] belonged to Comunitat Valenciana riders," said Fuentes. "There are a lot of new riders there I don't even know. I was really surprised the other day when I saw the huge list of Comunitat riders and I didn't even know who they were. I only know the old guard."
Fuentes also confessed he had been working with some riders who are still riding the Tour de France. "It's possible that the person who wins the Tour might have had a consultation with me. There are riders there linked to me, but I won't ever say who they are. If all the names came out of the riders who have been linked to me and the ethical code was applied by the Tour organisers, the organisers would be the only ones to reach Paris," Fuentes declared.
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