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Cycling | International Cycling

David Etxebarria © Gallo Images

Ex-Spanish riders deny doping in Fuentes trial

Four former Spanish riders on Tuesday denied doping with the aid of accused doctor Eufemio Fuentes in the trial linked to Spain's Operacion Puerto investigation.

Joseba Beloki, Unai Osa, David Etxebarria and Isidro Nozal were giving video evidence at the trial in Madrid.

Nozal was the only one of the four former riders to admit knowing Fuentes and providing blood, saying this was for examination only and not to be reinjected for performance-enhancing purposes.

He and Beloki rejected providing a DNA sample for prosecutors to investigate whether they matched blood bags found in the Operacion Puerto raids in 2006.

All four riders were 2006 members of the Liberty Seguros race team managed by Manolo Saiz, one of five defendants including Fuentes in the trial.

Two-time Tour-de-France winner Alberto Contador, who also raced for the Spanish team in 2006, is to appear as a witness in the trial on February 22.

Fuentes is on trial seven years after he was arrested in Operacion Puerto in which more than 50 cyclists came under doping suspicion.

He and his co-accused are charged with public health offences. They face up to two years in prison and being barred from their professions if found guilty.

The trial is to run until March, with a verdict expected not before April.


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