Eufemiano Fuentes, the controversial Spanish doctor at the center of the Operacion Puerto trial for alleged doping-related offences in cycling has told Marca that he refuses to reveal details of football clubs he has worked with, saying that threats have been made against him and his family in the past.
Fuentes, told Marca that he knew who had made threats against him in 2006 and continued to take them very seriously.
“I know who [the people were who made the threats], but I am not going to say that here. They were threats against me and my family,” he said.
A Le Monde story in 2006 claimed Fuentes had worked with La Liga clubs including Real Madrid and Barcelona. Both clubs subsequently took legal action and were awarded damages when the allegation was withdrawn.
Last month, Fuentes claimed he was still owed money by Real Madrid. That caused panic at the Bernabeu and the club released a statement clarifying that the alleged debt related to his appearance as a witness as a trial over the Le Monde allegations, and he subsequently said he had never treated any Real players.
During the Puerto trial, the former Real Sociedad president Inaki Badiola claimed that Fuentes had worked for that club in the past, a claim former president Jose Luis Astiazaran strenuously denied.
Asked by Marca whether he had worked with any big Spanish football clubs, Fuentes answered emphatically:
“Real Madrid and Barcelona? No. But if the big teams are the ones that play in the First Division, then the answer would be different. I haven’t treated any players from the Spain football team either.”
Fuentes was employed by Las Palmas when the Canary Islands club gained promotion to the Spanish top flight in 2000-01, and while he denied working with any “player of the Spanish national team”, he had also worked for other big La Liga clubs and treated players, without naming them.
I continue find it hard to believe that cyclists were/are the only athletes to have doped. Fuentes is the past has spoken publicly of having treated footballers, basketball players, athletes, tennis players and boxers.
One day the truth will be revealed about what teams and individual athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs in order to recover quicker from games and injuries. But it sounds like Fuentes will not be the one to show us what is behind the curtain in Spanish football.