Operation Puerto doctor faces jail
The doctor at the centre of a Spanish doping probe which started in 2006 could be jailed for up to two years for crimes against public health, a Madrid court has said.
More than five years after the Operation Puerto investigation was launched, prosecutors have asked for a two-year sentence for Eufemiano Fuentes and six others, including his sister Yolanda and former cycling team directors Manolo Saiz, Vicente Belda and Jose Ignacio Labarta, the court said in a statement.
Authorities also wanted them banned from practising their professions for the same period, the statement added.
Raids at the start of the operation uncovered anabolic steroids, blood transfusion equipment and more than 200 code-named blood bags, some of which were linked to cyclists including former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich and Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso.
The investigation was halted twice without any prosecutions having been made but a court ordered it to be reopened last year.
Local media quoted unidentified judicial sources as saying that a hearing was not expected to take place for some six months as the accused had 10 days to lodge appeals and a court still had to be selected.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has expressed its frustration at the refusal by Spain's judicial authorities to allow them access to evidence from the operation.