UCI to appeal Puerto blood bags decision
Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes arrives at a court house in Madrid on January 28, 2013. The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed on Friday they will appeal against the decision by a Spanish court to refuse access to more than 200 sachets of blood that were seized in the Operation Puerto case against Fuentes.
"The UCI can confirm that it will appeal the decision of the Madrid court of 29 April not to release to the UCI and other anti-doping organisations the more than 200 bags of blood and other evidence gathered in police raids in 2006, which were presented in the trial of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes," read a statement published by the UCI.
In appealing, cycling's world governing body are following in the footsteps of the Spanish anti-doping agency (AEA), who had already announced their intention to appeal against judge Julia Patricia Santamaria's decision to ring fence the evidence.
"I have to ask the judge to give me whatever documentary or natural evidence there is, along with the blood bags, so that the proven facts that she herself considers as administrative infractions can be judged by the competent authorities," said the then-head of the AEA, Ana Munoz.
A Madrid court last month handed Fuentes a one year suspended sentence for endangering public health in the way he performed blood extractions and transfusions on a number of high-profile cyclists before the doping ring was dismantled in 2006.
In addition, trainer Ignacio Labarta was condemned to four months in prison, while three other co-accused -- Eufemiano's sister Yolanda Fuentes, Vicente Belda and Manolo Saiz -- were cleared.
However, judge Santamaria refused access to the 211 blood and plasma bags that were found in Fuentes' apartments in 2006.
Instead, she ruled that they should be destroyed.