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WADA statement on “Operation Puerto” athlete blood bags

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Press Release

Following the recent decision by the Madrid Court of Appeal to provide access to the stored Operation Puerto blood and plasma bags of athletes from cycling and other sports, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) can confirm that, alongside the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), it is now in possession of samples of the blood and plasma bags; and that, the samples are stored in a WADA-accredited laboratory outside of Spain.

WADA and the UCI will continue their joint investigation into Operation Puerto, and will consider all possible legal options.

Operation Puerto is a Spanish Police investigation into a doping ring led by Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. In 2006, 211 blood and plasma bags were seized from the offices of Dr. Fuentes who was then handed a one-year suspended sentence for endangering public health. The investigation also resulted in anti-doping rule violations for five cyclists; and, led to suspicion of numerous as yet unnamed athletes from other sports that had been treated by Dr. Fuentes. For years, WADA asked Spanish authorities to provide the Agency and partner anti-doping organisations with access to the blood and plasma bags so that any anti-doping rule violations could be pursued. In April 2013, the Criminal Court of Madrid ordered the destruction of the blood and plasma bags -- a decision that WADA appealed in May 2013.

WADA will make no further comment at this time.

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