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Blood-doping doc to face sentence appeal

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Blood-doping doc to face sentence appeal
Convicted doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes headed for court in Madrid. File photo: Dani Pozo/AFP
12:34 CEST+02:00
The public prosecutor in the Operation Puerto case in which doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was sentenced to a year in prison intends to appeal the sentence and the destruction of more than 200 blood bags seized from his apartments.

Fuentes was found guilty of endangering public health along with one of his co-accused Jose Ignacio Labarta, who was given a four-month sentence, in performing blood extractions and transfusions on a number of high profile cyclists.

Three others, Yolanda Fuentes, Vicente Belda and Manolo Saiz, were all found not guilty, but the case attracted particularly bad press for Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria's decision to order the blood bags belonging to clients of Fuentes be destroyed rather than released to anti-doping authorities for inspection.

A spokesman for public prosecutor confirmed on Friday that they will join the Italian Olympic Committee in appealing that decision, whilst the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEA) have also signalled their intention to appeal.

Moreover, the public prosecutor will ask for the sentences given to Fuentes and Labarta to be extended to two years and that a four-year ban against Fuentes practising in sports medicine be extended to all forms of medical practice.

The decision to absolve Saiz of any responsibility will also be appealed with a two-year sentence being requested for the former head of the ONCE and Liberty Seguros cycling teams, but the public prosecutor is satisfied with the decision made by Judge Santamaria in relation to Yolanda Fuentes.

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