Kelme doctor explains prescriptions
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 12.00am
The wheels of Spanish justice are turning slowly with regard to the allegations made by Jesus Manzan
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Former Kelme team doctor Eufemiano Fuentes has told a Spanish court investigating doping allegations made by that team's former rider, Jesus Manzano, that he never gave any of the team's riders a doping product. Fuentes, who worked with the team between 1994 and 2002, also said that a prescription for Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (HMG) bearing his signature was destined for his sister, who was undergoing treatment for infertility. The former Kelme doctor's statement, which was delivered in September at Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria, is published in today's edition of AS, the sports daily that broke the news of Manzano's alleged dope infractions while he was on Kelme's roster. In it, Fuentes declares that he only prescribed "medication to treat common illnesses or those relating to sporting performance." Asked how his signature could have come to be on a prescription for HMG that Manzano has in his possession, Fuentes responded: "I expect that the note was written out by me in my position as a gynaecologist prescribing infertility treatment for my sister, Yolanda Fuentes. The only explanation for Manzano having it is that he stole it from my sister, who at that time was also a doctor at Kelme." AS points out that Fuentes was not asked whether, in her own position as a doctor, Yolanda Fuentes could not have prescribed these products herself. Manzano's explanation was that HMG was used in conjunction with testosterone to boost performance. According to AS, much of Fuentes' statement was dedicated to discrediting Manzano, who earlier this year alleged that he had been supplied with EPO and undergone blood doping while with Kelme and with the full knowledge and cooperation of the team's management and medical staff. The doctor said Manzano's "behaviour was difficult, he had problems with his team-mates, with the management of the team and was undisciplined." Despite these alleged problems, Manzano still managed to gain selection for the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espa¤a in 2003. AS also points out that Fuentes stated that "Manzano was sacked by the team for an act of indiscipline", a comment that contradicts Kelme's official stance of the rider voluntarily agreeing to leave the team after being found with a woman in his room during the 2003 Vuelta. Manzano, said Fuentes, "had sworn to get his revenge on the team."
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