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Cycling | International Cycling

Eufemiano Fuentes © Action Images

Spanish judge postpones decision on Wada



A Spanish judge on Tuesday postponed a decision on whether the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) could have access to blood samples confiscated in 2006, when Spain's biggest doping scandal came to light.

The main suspect, doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, was due to be questioned as the trial of him and four others went into its second day.

Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria gave the Wada, the International Cycling Union, Spain's Superior Sports Council and the Spanish Cycling Federation three days to explain why they wanted to access to the samples.

She may not take a decision until the end of the trial, judicial sources said.

The judge denied the Wada access to Fuentes' computer. The anti-doping agency had hoped it could contain information on which athletes had dealt with him.

Judge Santamaria admitted US cyclist Tyler Hamilton as a witness.

Fuentes and his co-accused went on trial seven years after he was arrested in the Spanish doping affair known as Operacion Puerto.

His questioning was due to be followed by that of his sister Yolanda and former cycling officials Manuel Saiz (Once, Liberty), Jose Ignacio Labarta (Comunidad Valenciana) and Vicente Belda (Kelme). It was not clear whether the court would have time to question all of them on Tuesday.

Several professional cyclists, including stars like Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso, are expected to appear as witnesses.

More than 50 cyclists came under suspicion in the Operacion Puerto.

Athletes including Basso, Michele Scarponi (both Italy), Alejandro Valverde (Spain) and Joerg Jaksche (Germany) were banned in connection with the affair.

However, athletes will not have to stand trial, because anti-doping legislation was only introduced in the aftermath.

Instead, Fuentes and his co-accused are charged with public health offences. The trial is to run until March, with a verdict expected not before April.



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