Dog medicine doc lands year’s jail time

A Spanish doctor who reportedly gave drugs for dogs, cattle and horses to a team of cyclists was sentenced to a year behind bars by a Madrid court on Tuesday.

Dog medicine doc lands year’s jail time
Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes arriving at a court house in Madrid in February. Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was found guilty of endangering public health by administering blood transfusions to top cyclists who formed part of the Spanish cycling team Kelme.

A former trainer of the Kelme cycling team, Jose Ignacio Labarta, was also found guilty and handed a four-month jail term. 

Three other co-accused in the case — Yolanda Fuentes, Manolo Saiz and Vicente Belda — were cleared.

Back in February, former Kelme cyclist Jesus Manzano told the Madrid court his health had been compromised by performance enhancing drugs for animals given to him during his time with Kelme.

Manzano recalled one occasion when he fainted during a stage of the Tour de France in 2003:

"I had taken oxyglobin intravenously, a haemoglobin for dogs (which increases oxygen levels in the blood)," Manzano said during evidence. 

"I attacked (French rider) Richard Virenque on a stage and I began to feel progressively worse until I fainted. In the team they asked me to not say what I had taken nor to do a test because it was in France and we would all go to jail."

Manzano also went on to describe the lengths Fuentes and his team went to in order to prevent their riders from testing positive. 

"They put a white powder on the penis to dilute the urine sample so that we didn't test positive for EPO," he said.

“Eufemiano Fuentes would arrive in his Porsche stacked full of blood bags and then put them into wine cartons before going to the Tour,” Manzano added. 

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Spanish town hires pet detectives in latest battle against dog poo

In Spain’s latest battle in the war on dog poo, a town near Salamanca has hired private detectives to punish those who fail to clean up after their pets.

Spanish town hires pet detectives in latest battle against dog poo
Detectives have been hired to track down irresponsible dog owners. Photo: Alice Huseyinoglu

This week, Carbajose de la Sagrada, a municipality in Salamanca, has commissioned a special unit of private detectives to monitor dog poo in public spaces, with the hope of raising awareness about the responsibility that comes with owning a pet, and fining guilty dog-walkers.

After the evidence has been collected by these detectives, it will be up to the local police force to press charges and issue fines.

The new initiative has been introduced following a barrage of complaints from citizens about the ‘uncivil’ behaviour of some residents, as well as the failure of previous awareness campaigns to put an end to their repeated crimes.

The mayor of the municipality, Pedro Samuel Martín, met with pet owners a few weeks ago to discuss a solution to the ongoing dilemma. He said he hoped the new measures, following in the footsteps of towns such as Colmenar Viejo, would improve the state of public spaces, and lead to greater 'coexistence' in the town.

This is just the latest attempt by town councils to combat the issue of dog dirt. In 2013, a viral campaign in Brunete, a small town just outside Madrid, saw officials box up waste and mail it back guilty pet owners.

Photo: Depositphotos

The town of Colmenar Viejo, also near Madrid, hired incognito detectives in 2014 to film owners who left their dog's poo lying around, and in 2016, Maslata, near Valencia, ordered residents to register their dog’s DNA through mandatory blood samples, so the owners who failed to clean up after their dogs could be traced.

In a battle to clean up the captial, Madrid's mayor introduced a 2016 law, giving dog poo offenders the choice between a €750 fine or a weekend of cleaning duty.

By Alice Huseyinoglu

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