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Spanish doctor sentenced in international cyclist doping ring

May 1, 2013 at 8:53 AM   |   Comments

MADRID, May 1 (UPI) -- The Spanish doctor at the center of an international cycling doping ring was banned from practicing medicine for seven years but will serve no jail time.

Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes also was fined about $6,150 Tuesday and was given a suspended jail term of one year, ThinkSpain reported Wednesday.

Fuentes reportedly provided transfusions for professional cyclists so performance-enhancing drugs wouldn't show in pre-race blood tests.

Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria also ordered the destruction of the more than 200 bags of frozen blood and plasma found when Fuentes' office was raided seven years ago. She ordered the destruction without allowing Spanish authorities or the World Anti-Doping Agency to test them to determine whether other sports figures were involved in the scheme.

Doping wasn't illegal in Spain at the time the "Operation Port" investigation began. Fuentes was charged for offenses relating to damaging public health. Spain has passed anti-doping laws since Operation Port.

Besides cyclists, Fuentes worked as a doctor for track athletes, boxers and soccer players, although it is unknown whether athletes in those fields were involved, ThinkSpain said.

The physician said the transfusions were meant to boost performance and safeguard an athlete's health and didn't violate any rules.

Dr. Yolanda Fuentes, the accused's sister, and ex-cycle team officials Vicente Belda and Manolo Saiz, were acquitted. Ignacio Labarta, a cycling official involved in the Kelme Team, was sentenced to four months in jail in the case.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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