Wed, Oct 08, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Spanish prosecutor to appeal closing of Operation Puerto


A regional prosecutor is to appeal the closing of cycling’s “Operation Puerto” doping case, which was shelved by Spain’s judiciary without a single conviction.

The office of Madrid’s public prosecutor has lodged an appeal against the closure before the capital city’s superior tribunal, the court said on Monday in a statement.

The appeal comes in the wake of judge Antonio Serrano’s decision to seal the case which began with a Civil Guard probe that had implicated more than 50 riders.

Police raids in Madrid and Zaragoza in May 2006 yielded steroids, hormones, the endurance-boosting substance EPO, nearly 100 bags of frozen blood and equipment used in blood packing. After the raids, doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, Manuel Saiz, the then-sports director of Liberty Seguros, and Ignacio Labarta of Comunidad Valenciana were among those arrested.

Press reports said Serrano decided to close the case finally on Sept. 26 after samples of the EPO tested revealed levels too low to represent a health risk according to Spanish doping laws at the time.

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