Conflict & Justice

Spanish Doctor Convicted in Sports Doping Investigation

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Credit: REUTERS

Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes (C) is surrounded by media as he enters a courthouse on the first day of the high-profile Operacion Puerto doping trial in Madrid, January 28, 2013. The trial of Fuentes and others accused for their involvement in a doping ring in professional cycling began on Monday, nearly seven years after Spanish police seized anabolic steroids, transfusion equipment and blood bags as part of a probe which was code-named Operacion Puerto. REUTERS/Sergio Perez (SPAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT CYCLING) - RTR3D30P

A doctor in Spain has been convicted of endangering the lives of elite cyclists by administering blood transfusions to increase performance. But the case has left key questions unanswered.

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A 2006 raid on Eufemiano Fuentes's office yielded a cache of performance-enhancing drugs and a number of bags containing blood and plasma.

But at that time, Spanish law did not recognize doping as an offense; the doctor was charged on public health grounds.

And now that the case has been concluded, the presiding judge has ordered the bags of blood to be destroyed.

That's causing consternation among anti-doping authorities worldwide: if the blood were to be analyzed, it might reveal more about the breadth and depth of doping in Spanish sports.

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