Spanish officials 'frustrate' WADA

Access to evidence denied


WADA, the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) have asked for access to evidence such as test results on bags of blood linked to leading cyclists but their latest appeal was rejected on Thursday by a Madrid court.

The court said the material could not be released while the legal process was continuing and that doing so might infringe the rights of those implicated in the investigation.
"WADA continues to be very frustrated by the slow wheels of Spanish justice in this case," Fahey said in a statement.

"We continue to emphasise that the evidence gathered by law enforcement during the investigation needs to be preserved for sharing with sport and anti-doping authorities," he added.

"While some of this evidence might not be necessarily used in court, it certainly can be crucial in the sanctioning processes for individual athletes who may have committed doping offences."

Raids at the start of Operacion Puerto uncovered anabolic steroids, blood transfusion equipment and more than 200 code-named blood bags, some of which were linked to riders including former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich and Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso.

The probe was twice halted without any prosecutions but a Madrid court ordered it to be reopened earlier this year after considering appeals.
"Although we are frustrated, we remain optimistic that proper outcomes still await those athletes -- and any member of their entourage -- who might have been cheating," Fahey said.

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