Operation Puerto dope trial: Doc at heart of racket says he treated 'all kinds of athletes'

MADRID (AFP) - A Spanish doctor on trial over a major blood doping racket involving top professional cyclists said on Tuesday that he had worked for athletes in "all kinds" of sports.

"I worked with individual sportspersons... of all kinds," Eufemanio Fuentes, 57, who is charged with public health offences, told the court in Madrid.

Police arrested him in 2006 when they seized 200 bags of blood and other evidence of performance-enhancing transfusions, in an investigation dubbed "Operation Puerto".

Fuentes, who is on trial along with his sister and three other defendants from the cycling world, told the court on Tuesday that "most" of the sportspersons he was working for in 2006 were cyclists.

Investigators at the time listed 58 cyclists suspected in the scandal. Of those, only six have received sporting sanctions: Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde, Germans Jan Ullrich and Joerg Jaksche, and Italians Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi and Giampaolo Caruso, who was later cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong's former cycling team-mate, Tyler Hamilton, will testify at the "Operation Puerto" trial.

The court has agreed to a request by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is a civil party in the case, for US rider Hamilton to testify in the trial.

Hamilton, 42, rode alongside Armstrong in the US Postal Service team in the late 1990s and testified against him in the investigation that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year.

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