Dr Eufemiano Fuentes is going on trial in Madrid nearly seven years after police raided his offices and seized 200 bags of blood which were linked to a number of top cyclists. He is accused of running one of the world’s largest sports doping rings.
Dr Fuentes, his sister and three former cycling coaches are charged with breaking public health laws and dozens of cyclists have been called to testify as witnesses in the trial. The accused could not be charged with doping-related crimes because Spain had no anti-doping law at the time of their arrest.
Prosecutors must prove that the defendants’ actions put the lives of the athletes at risk, something the defence is expected to deny.
At the time of the raids, the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, was apparently told that the bags of blood also related to athletes from several sports, including football and tennis. However, the trial will focus only on cyclists as they are the only athletes that could be identified from the bags of blood seized.