The doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto investigation says that he was working with athlete
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With no one appearing to be quite sure whether the Operacion Puerto dossier contains cyclists’ names alone or those of athletes in other sports as well, the doctor at the centre of the investigation has suggested the latter is the case. Speaking on Spain’s Cadena Ser radio station, Eufemiano Fuentes, affirmed that he has been treating athletes from a number of sports, but also asserted that his methods, which are alleged to include blood doping, could not be classed as doping.
“I’m angry about the whole matter. Names have appeared of people that I don’t even know and there are others that haven’t come out and I’ve no idea why, but my professional oath forbids me from revealing their names,” Fuentes declared. “Treatment only for cyclists? I’m also indignant about that. I’ve worked with other sports, like athletics, tennis and football. There are a lot of names that haven’t come out, there have been only selective leaks. I don’t know why. There are still riders in the Tour de France who I have treated.”
With rumours circulating about some footballers taking part in the World Cup being linked to Fuentes, the doctor added fuel to that fire by stating: “I’ve worked with Spanish football teams from the first and second divisions, that have improved their performance. If I haven’t carried out the treatment myself I have recommended it to them.”
Of his personal position, Fuentes said: “I have the feeling I haven’t committed a crime and consequently I don’t feel like a criminal.” He also revealed that he had suspicions that he was under investigation. “Some strange things were going on,” he admitted. “When I was talking on the phone I could hear strange noises, and calls often got cut off.”
He affirmed that his work with athletes did not cause them any harm. “Like any other doctor in this country, my goal is to maintain the health of my patients, not to damage it. The repercussions all this has had will make it difficult for me to regain my credibility and to return to work in sports medicine.
Meanwhile, the Guardia Civil team behind the Operacion Puerto investigation yesterday spoke to Fuentes’ sister Yolanda, who is a doctor on the Comunitat Valenciana team. She is expected to be cited in the case before too long. She has been linked with treatment allegedly provided to Tyler Hamilton. Comunitat Valenciana team manager Vicente Belda has also been questioned by the Puerto team.