Fuentes doping scandal

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Demonstrating cycling fans at the 2006 Tour de France

The doping scandal Fuentes (also known as the Spanish doping scandal or, after the code name of the Spanish police measures, also often called Operación Puerto ) is a doping affair in international cycling . The eponymous former team doctor of the Liberty Seguros cycling team , Eufemiano Fuentes , has been selling unauthorized, performance-enhancing drugs to people on the international cycling scene via an extensive network since at least 2003.

As part of a raid on May 23, 2006, the Spanish police arrested Fuentes, the sports director of Liberty Seguros, Manolo Saiz and the doctor José Luis Merino . They confiscated large amounts of blood bags and doping substances, as well as a list of code names that were interpreted as pseudonyms for cyclists. After evaluating the list, the suspected customers included some of the top racing cyclists at the time, such as Jan Ullrich , Ivan Basso and Francisco Mancebo, as well as over fifty other cyclists. The scandal received a lot of media attention due to the exclusion of those 58 riders from the 2006 Tour de France , including the later three-time Tour winner Alberto Contador . In Germany, the investigation of the Bonn public prosecutor's office against Jan Ullrich and his personal advisor Rudy Pevenage was the focus of media interest.

Compared to the Festina affair of 1998 and the systematic use of EPO by Team Telekom in the 1990s, the Fuentess scandal is the most comprehensive doping affair in cycling history. The incidents permanently damaged the public image of cycling, especially as many criminal investigations against suspected drivers and officials remained inconclusive due to a lack of anti-doping laws and the professional cyclists concerned were able to continue their careers without impairment or after short-term suspensions.

In addition to racing cyclists, members of other sports, in particular track and field athletes and soccer players, were also associated with the network. In December 2010, the affair reached another climax with another fourteen arrests, including Marta Domínguez , Vice President of the Spanish Athletics Federation.

The Operación Puerto

José Luis Merino Batres' medical laboratory in Madrid

The starting point of the investigation into the Spanish doping scandal was the conviction of professional cyclist Roberto Heras , who tested positive for the doping agent erythropoietin (EPO) on the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a España in September 2005 . The driver from the Liberty Seguros team was then deprived of the overall victory in the Tour of Spain and awarded the runner-up Denis Menshov . In February 2006, the Spanish Guardia Civil police received information about an extensive doping network and as a result started the Operación Puerto ("Operation Mountain Pass" - alluding to the mountain passages to be traveled on in cycling races). From now on people and apartments were observed, wiretapped and video recordings were made.

Two years earlier, Jesús Manzano had already reported in a detailed interview with the Spanish newspaper As about systematic doping in his former team Kelme . At that time, Kelme employed the Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes as a team doctor before he worked for the ONCE team and its successor Liberty Seguros. Manzano's accusations, however, were criticized as an "act of revenge".

On May 23, 2006, the Civil Guard provisionally arrested five suspected Spaniards in a large-scale doping raid . They were investigated for “typical behavior of those involved in organized crime” : Eufemiano Fuentes, team doctor of the Liberty Seguros team, Manolo Saiz , sports director like, José Luis Merino , hematologist and head of a medical laboratory in Madrid, José Ignacio Labarta , Vice Director of the Comunidad Valenciana team (successor to Kelme), and Alberto León , former mountain biker. Arrest warrants were issued for Fuentes and Merino on May 26th. During a search of Fuentes' homes, the police found over two hundred frozen blood and plasma samples, as well as large quantities of various types of medication. In addition, medication plans, sample inventories and other documents were confiscated. Lists and bags were provided with numbers and code names that were traced back to a number of well-known cycling professionals based on the investigations in the police investigation reports.

Fuentes, who has long been considered a key figure in the scandal, denied , according to the Spanish newspaper El País , during his interrogation that the blood samples had been stored for the purpose of self-blood doping . Rather, they are old samples that have been kept for private analyzes. In the days after the raid, the first names of suspicious drivers became known through the Spanish media, including Ivan Basso and José Enrique Gutiérrez , first and second place finishers in the Giro d'Italia , which was drawing to a close in these days. Both Basso and the also named Jan Ullrich denied any involvement. Óscar Sevilla , who is under contract with Ullrich's team T-Mobile , admitted to having carried out performance tests with Fuentes and Merino. T-Mobile then asked its drivers to declare in writing that they had nothing to do with the burgeoning scandal. The Phonak Cycling Team suspended on 2 June 2006 with Gutierrez and Santiago Botero first drivers who were called as part of the doping affair.

Scandal in the run-up to the Tour de France 2006

As a consequence of the results of the raid and the police investigation against Fuentes and Manolo Saiz, the insurer Liberty Seguros withdrew from sponsoring the team on May 25, 2006 with immediate effect. The team around the Tour de France co-favorite Alexander Vinokurow initially continued under the name of the secondary sponsor Würth and competed in the Euskal Bizikleta in white jerseys without sponsor imprint. A consortium of Kazakh business enterprises prevented the former Liberty Seguros team from being dissolved on June 3 by succeeding as the main sponsor. With the issue of a ProTour license by the world association UCI on June 22nd, the Astana-Würth team (after the name of the Kazakh capital ) was eligible to start the Tour de France . Already on June 8th, Manolo Saiz had given in to pressure from the team association AIGCP and had resigned from his offices in various international bodies and as the sporting director of his team. In the latter position he was replaced by Pablo Anton .

The Continental -Team Comunidad Valenciana was unloaded on June 13 by the organizers of the Tour de France due to involvement in the doping scandal. Voices were also loud to exclude Astana-Würth from the tour, which would start on July 1st. A week later, the T-Mobile team took Jan Ullrich and Óscar Sevilla into the Tour line-up, despite suspicions against them.

On June 25, 2006, El País reported that at least 58 professional cyclists were involved in the doping affair, as the Spanish police concluded from the evidence seized. In protest against this reporting, the Spanish racing drivers are boycotting their national championship. Meanwhile, the Tour de France organization ASO asked the Astana-Würth team not to start the tour. In contrast to the Continental Team Comunidad Valenciana, the exclusion of a ProTour team was not possible directly by the race organizers. Should the team involved in the doping affair refuse, the OSA would go to the international sports court. In contrast, the tour organization gave Jan Ullrich the green light for the start of the tour on June 27th as there was no solid evidence against him.

In an urgent procedure, the International Court of Justice for Sports (CAS) rejected the ASO's action against the start of Astana-Würth on June 29 for lack of evidence. The Spanish radio station Cadena SER reported meanwhile that the 58 drivers on "Fuentes' doping list" had been identified. As already assumed, among them are the tour favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso. Ullrich's team T-Mobile asked to see the investigation report of the Guardia Civil.

With the publication of the real names of all 58 professional cyclists, the scandal reached its preliminary climax on June 30, 2006, one day before the start of the Tour de France . In addition to Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich, Francisco Mancebo and Juan Antonio Flecha were among the accused . The tour organization and the sporting directors agreed that all the accused drivers would be withdrawn from the tour and not replaced by subsequent nominations. After the information block was lifted, the T-Mobile team was given access to files by the Spanish judiciary and thereupon suspended Jan Ullrich, Óscar Sevilla and the sports director Rudy Pevenage , as the documents from Spain raised doubts about the credibility of the three team members. Ivan Basso was also suspended from his team CSC . Mancebo ended his career with immediate effect after his suspension by the French team ag2r Prévoyance .

Since with Sérgio Paulinho , Allan Davis , Joseba Beloki , the German Jörg Jaksche and the later multiple tour winner Alberto Contador five of the nine starters of the Astana Würth team were excluded, it lost its starting authorization. Alexander Vinokurow, captain of the team and not one of the accused himself, had to give up his role as a favorite. The 2006 Tour de France , which had promised an exchange of blows for the "eternal second" after the end of the career of the dominant Lance Armstrong , started on July 1 without its main contenders for the overall victory, which Floyd Landis finally overtook - also using unfair means. On July 3, 2006, Astana's co-sponsor Würth ended its commitment with immediate effect.

Criminal proceedings against Eufemiano Fuentes

Process opening in Madrid

Eufemiano Fuentes , who, like José Luis Merino, had been released from custody on bail of 120,000 euros, spoke on the Madrid radio station Cadena SER on July 5, 2006 about the incidents and the allegations made against him. He indicated that other cyclists and other athletes were involved in the scandal: "Names that should appear have not yet been mentioned, I don't know why." Fuentes justified his doping practices, which he tried not to deny, as measures in the interest the health of athletes. High-performance sport is not healthy, drugs such as EPO are required to ensure the health of the athlete under stress such as a three-week tour. He stressed that he would not hesitate to administer EPO to his wife, athlete Cristina Pérez , if "health required" .

The criminal trial against Fuentes began on July 20 in Madrid, under the chairmanship of Antonio Serrano. In Spain there was no anti-doping law at the time of the Operación Puerto , so Fuentes initially only faced charges of “harming public health”, ie a violation of the health law. At the same time, the court announced that no legal proceedings would be initiated against the suspected athletes and that they could only be summoned as witnesses in the Fuentes case. A conviction from this point of view was criticized by some experts as having little prospect at the beginning of the proceedings.

Doping network in Germany

On July 31, 2006, El País reported that the Spanish doping network had obtained illegal performance-enhancing drugs from Germany. Fuentes' supplier, a doctor from an undisclosed small German town, sold a preferred EPO variant that was hardly detectable. The doctor may represent the bridge between Fuentes and the recently tested positive Tour de France winner Floyd Landis , the newspaper continued. Landis had received treatment in Germany a week earlier.

The doctor's identity became known to the media on August 17th. According to ARD research, it was the anesthetist Markus Choina from Bad Sachsa in Lower Saxony. Choina was employed as chief physician at the Helios Clinic Bleicherode . According to the ARD doping expert Hajo Seppelt , in Germany, analogous to Spain, there is a ring of doping doctors. Choina had obtained drugs for doping purposes from an unknown source. These are said to have been brought to the Iberian Peninsula via Ignacio Labarta - apparently the interface between the networks in Germany and Spain. Fuentes' wife Cristina Pérez was one of the buyers there. During the raid in May 2006, Synacthen from German production was found in Manolo Saiz's trunk.

During the search of Choina's house and workplace, incriminating evidence was found, according to reports from the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Göttingen public prosecutor's office. The latter had opened an investigation against the doctor for violating the Medicines Act. As early as August 12, 2006, the biologist and doping expert Werner Franke filed a criminal complaint against an unknown person for bodily harm when it became known that the deliveries concerned, among other things, Synacthen. The drug used to treat multiple sclerosis can cause shock in asthmatics. Asthma is common among cyclists.

According to a report in Stern on August 30, 2006, Choina was more deeply involved in the affair than initially assumed. Instead of just acting as a supplier, the German doctor is said to have also received blood products from Spain. Jesús Manzano , who initiated the investigation into Fuentes in 2004, spoke up again. He had met Choina four years earlier at Fuentes in Madrid. Manzano suffered from health problems for a long time, which he attributed to the administration of EPO.

According to information from ARD, after the scandal became known, Fuentes relocated his doping practices to Germany in June 2006. In summer, blood samples were taken from cyclists in the rooms of a Hamburg hotel and an apartment. On a document seized by the police, there was talk of the "rooms Germany and France" , which, according to the ARD, spoke in favor of shifting doping practices from Madrid to other European countries.

No progress in the Fuentes case

By a decision of a representative judge, the use of the investigation files of the Operación Puerto was limited to criminal proceedings until the verdict in the Fuentes case. The Spanish and Italian cycling federations were therefore forced to suspend the disciplinary proceedings against 30 Spanish and Italian riders at the end of October 2006. The Spanish media reacted with incomprehension. El Mundo wrote that the process was “collapsing like a house of cards” . El País resigned: “The Operación Puerto has become a synonym for incompetence, chaos, procrastination tactics and legal skirmishes.” Serrano later partially revised the decision of his representative and gave the results that were not based on video and telephone recordings for use again the national sports federations free.

The sports law proceedings against Manolo Saiz were also suspended for the time being. Saiz tried to return to cycling management after his resignation as the sporting director of Liberty Seguros amid protests by the AIGCP team association. The World Cycling Federation (UCI) prevented this by refusing a ProTour license for Saiz's planned formation of a new team . Meanwhile, Jesús Manzano spread rumors about hush money of 180,000 euros that Saiz had offered him for withdrawing his statements on the doping network around Fuentes.

In November 2006, an official anti-doping laboratory in Barcelona found traces of the doping agent EPO in eight blood bags that were seized during the May raid. Serrano then asked for a toxicological report to determine whether and to what extent EPO can cause damage to health in general and in particular for cyclists.

The Spanish Court of Justice began hearing the professional cyclists involved on December 11th. The first interviews of Alberto Contador and Jesús Hernández did not bring any new information, however, as both denied contact with Fuentes and knowledgeable doping use. The Spanish newspaper ABC reported on January 10, 2007 that Fuentes had asked its customers not only a fixed fee but also premiums of up to 50,000 euros for race wins resulting from the treatment. On January 12th, a meeting of the International Association of ProTeams (IPCT) decided to work more closely with the Spanish investigators in the Fuentes doping scandal. Among other things, the teams agreed to provide DNA samples from drivers involved in the scandal. However, this did not happen to this extent.

Antonio Serrano dropped the case against Eufemiano Fuentes in early March 2007 for lack of evidence. The profit-oriented doping practices of the Madrid doctor and his entourage have been proven, but have only been prosecuted in Spain since the new anti-doping law came into force at the beginning of the year. Since EPO and similar medication have not been proven to be harmful to health, there was no legal violation at the time of the indictment. Pat McQuaid , President of the UCI, has now requested the release of the investigation files and announced the resumption of legal proceedings against the accused cyclists. Drivers and teams protested on March 12, 2007, at the start of Paris-Nice, against the termination of the investigation. The team association referred to the ProTeams code of ethics and supported McQuaid's demands.

The Madrid public prosecutor's office appealed against Serrano's decision on March 14. The El País headline on March 20, the proceedings had ended prematurely. Serrano was believed to have acted incorrectly in the Fuentes case. The wiretaps and house searches ordered in 2006 could only be justified on suspicion of criminal offenses, which would contradict the current termination of the criminal proceedings and thus would have meant an unlawful restriction of civil rights. Since autologous doping, as practiced by Fuentes, could hardly be proven, the El País suspected that the injected blood bags of Santiago Pérez and Tyler Hamilton , who had been convicted of doping in 2004, had been mixed up. Roberto Heras' positive test is also an indication of contaminated autologous blood. In both cases, the health risks would be high enough to be convicted as charged. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked to see the investigation reports in order to be able to investigate the affair itself.

According to Pat McQuaid, Eufemiano Fuentes resumed work immediately after the proceedings were closed. At the end of April 2007, those responsible for the professional cycling teams sent a high-ranking delegation of team representatives, race organizers and UCI officials to Madrid to speak to the Spanish Minister of Sports, Jaime Lissavetzky , to get the authorities to clarify the Fuentes doping scandal.

In February 2008, the Madrid public prosecutor's objection was granted, whereupon Antonio Serrano had the health-damaging effects of the products sold by Fuentes re-examined. Again, the commissioned appraiser could not determine such an effect. Again, Spain's new anti-doping law did not apply retrospectively, so Serrano dropped the case again in October 2008.

Transfer of individual participants

Jan Ullrich

Suspension and dismissal by T-Mobile

The German professional cyclist Jan Ullrich , who was under contract with the T-Mobile team in 2006, was one of the first riders to be associated with the doping affair on May 25, 2006. He denied - as did the Italian Ivan Basso on the same day - an entanglement. In the Spanish media it was said that the physician Luigi Cecchini should have been in contact with Fuentes as a member of Ullrich's support team. However, T-Mobile announced that Cecchini was not responsible for Ullrich's medical care. The two code names "Jan" and "Hijo Rudicio" ("Rudi's son") were found on the lists confiscated from Fuentes, which suggested Jan Ullrich and his long-time supervisor Rudy Pevenage . Ullrich rejected the El País' allegations on June 26th as "speculation by a Spanish daily newspaper" and hired a lawyer.

After Ullrich's suspension on June 30, 2006, he continued to protest his innocence and retired to his place of residence in Scherzingen, Switzerland. The French sports newspaper L'Équipe reported in addition to blood doping of growth hormones and testosterone , which Ullrich is said to have taken according to police investigations. SMS texts documented between Pevenage and Fuentes during the Operación Puerto increased suspicions against the German. Ullrich was suggested by several sides to prove his innocence by means of a DNA comparison.

In its July 10, 2006 edition, Der Spiegel and the Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed another code name for Ullrich, which emerged from the police investigations into the Fuentes lists. On the basis of a telephone conversation between Pevenage and Fuentes on May 18, 2006, in which Ullrich's adviser had spoken of the victory of the “third person”, the pseudonym can clearly be assigned to Ullrich; Ullrich had surprisingly won a time trial at the Giro d'Italia that day . Two days later, Pevenage had telephoned another administration of autologous blood under this pseudonym. Until then, this was the most stressful connection between the professional cyclist and Fuentes. Rudy Pevenage was then fired from T-Mobile. Although at this time many newspapers considered Ullrich's doping offense to be proven, the team held on to him for the time being, but advised him to comment on the allegations and to prove his innocence.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on July 14th that the documents seized at Fuentes contained a medication plan for the first week of the 2005 Tour de France, headed “Jan” . The prohibited substances insulin , cortisone and testosterone should be administered over a period of six days . Ullrich, who was threatened with dismissal by his team after a two-week period, made a brief statement on July 17th: “In a constitutional state, the presumption of innocence applies not only to me, but to every other person as well, until the opposite is proven . “ His lawyers advised against a DNS comparison and contacted the Spanish authorities. Christian Frommert , spokesman for the T-Mobile team, further demanded clear proof of innocence, referring to Ullrich's announcement after his exclusion from the Tour de France. Ullrich's lawyers had stated in their statement to the team management that there were still no conclusive charges against Ullrich and therefore no proof of innocence had to be provided by contract.

On July 21, 2006, Olaf Ludwig Cycling GmbH, operator of the T-Mobile team, announced Jan Ullrich and Óscar Sevilla . Frommert admitted that the team management had no positive doping tests, but a decision should have been made. When asked about the presumption of innocence demanded by Ullrich , Frommert said: "[...] sport, especially cycling, has committed itself to its own ethical and moral rules, which are also documented in the drivers' contracts." Ullrich, who meanwhile participates in all races had canceled, and his manager Wolfgang Strohband announced legal action against the dismissal. Ullrich reiterated his disapproval of the expulsion in a major interview with the Swiss tabloid Blick in the July 25th edition and added: “I don't have to prove my innocence. It is inhumane if I have to submit a genetic test. I'm a professional cyclist and yet not a murderer or criminal. ” On the same day, a meeting between Ullrich and Olaf Ludwig , head of the T-Mobile team, took place. Ludwig gave the professional cyclist a chance to get back into the team if he should comply with the ongoing demands for proof of innocence.

On August 27, 2006, Ullrich announced on his homepage that he had reached an early mutual agreement with T-Mobile to terminate the driver contract.

Investigations by the Bonn public prosecutor's office

At the beginning of August, the German biologist Werner Franke made further allegations against Ullrich. Franke was considered a doping expert because of his essential contribution to the detection of systematic doping in the former GDR . On August 3, he said on the regional television broadcaster Rhein-Main-TV that after looking into the investigation files of the Guardia Civil, Ullrich's expenses for performance-enhancing funds amounted to around 35,000 euros within a year. The athlete succumbed to the influence of bad advisors. According to reports from the picture, Ullrich defended himself with the words: “I haven't heard such nonsense in a long time.” In response, Franke underlined his allegations: “Three independent pieces of evidence were provided. [...] Anyone who denies that Jan Ullrich was a Fuentes customer is making a fool of himself. "

This mutual teasing, accompanied by the German media, formed the starting point for a long-lasting feud between Franke and Ullrich. On August 14, the racing cyclist obtained an injunction against Franke and his claim that he had paid Fuentes € 35,000. Franke's appeal against the injunction was rejected on September 13, 2006 by the press chamber of the Hamburg regional court. Lorenz Schläfli , managing director of the Swiss Cycling Association, has meanwhile announced the opening of a doping case against Ullrich. Since it was his second offense - Ullrich was banned for six months in 2002 - the Swiss by choice faced a ban of up to four years.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung published on 16 August 2006, the first a firm with Fuentes in connection document, called the Ullrich by name. A fax from the doctor to one of his couriers contained a “list of the employees and participants in the festival, which takes place in May” , on which the name “Jan Ulrich” among other things. The Spanish police interpreted the “festival” as the Giro d'Italia.

Werner Franke filed a criminal complaint against Ullrich on August 25th. According to reports in the Stuttgarter Zeitung , Franke referred to the affidavit to T-Mobile, in which the professional cyclist had knowingly given false information and denied a connection to Eufemiano Fuentes. Franke also said that Fuentes' customers processed payments for doping substances and practices through a Chinese bank based in Zurich. According to reports from Focus , the Bonn public prosecutor's office reacted at the end of August to a criminal complaint by Britta Bannenberg dated July 7, 2006 by opening an investigation . The criminologist and professor at Bielefeld University had tried Jan Ullrich, Óscar Sevilla and Rudy Pevenage against the employer T -Mobile and violation of the Medicines Act sued.

After reviewing the Spanish investigation files, the Bonn public prosecutor assumed that Ullrich had been receiving services from Fuentes since 2003. On September 13, 2006, officials from the public prosecutor's office and the Federal Criminal Police Office searched a total of ten homes of people connected with the prosecution. Among other things, house searches were carried out in Ullrich's residence in Scherzingen, in the private and business properties of his manager Wolfgang Strohband in Hamburg and the private and business premises of the former and current T-Mobile officials Rudy Pevenage, Walter Godefroot and Olaf Ludwig.

The Spanish judge responsible for the doping scandal, Antonio Serrano , declared on September 14th that the Spanish judiciary was ready to provide the Bonn public prosecutor's office with blood samples from blood bags associated with Jan Ullrich, which were confiscated during the raid in May. The German authorities made a request to this effect at the beginning of September. According to contradicting media reports, a comparison sample from Ullrich had not been secured during the raid the day before. It later became known that Ullrich, who was on his honeymoon at the time of the house search, had given a saliva sample after his return on a court order.

On September 24, 2006, the Hamburg public prosecutor opened the criminal proceedings against Ullrich, which Werner Franke had requested, for false affidavit. The Spanish judiciary, on the other hand, certified on October 4th that they had not taken any criminal action against the German professional cyclist.

Disciplinary proceedings of the Swiss Association

Meanwhile, the Swiss Cycling Association (Swiss Cycling) waited for four weeks for certified documents from the World Cycling Association (UCI) on the Fuentes doping scandal, which would be necessary according to Swiss law for the opening of disciplinary proceedings against Ullrich. Lorenz Schläfli announced that the association would issue Jan Ullrich, who claims to have received offers from various teams, a driver's license for the coming season, if the certification is still a long time coming. Schläfli made it clear: “If the UCI doesn't help us, then the matter is settled. At the moment we have no doping case in Switzerland, and no driver with a Swiss license is being investigated. "

UCI President Pat McQuaid announced at the beginning of October 2006 that the world association wanted to prevent Ullrich from obtaining a new driver's license, if necessary, by filing a lawsuit at the international sports court . McQuaid saw the responsibility for notarising the investigation reports for the Swiss association in the hands of the Spanish judiciary and contradicted the allegations that the UCI would deliberately delay the proceedings. The certified documents were finally found in the Bern office in mid-October, where they had remained unprocessed for over four weeks due to an internal oversight. Further documents were requested from Germany and Spain before the association's disciplinary body wanted to initiate doping proceedings.

On October 13, the Süddeutsche Zeitung quoted from a protocol of the Spanish police that documented Ullrich's stays in Madrid and thus provided new evidence against him. The newspaper also published information about payments Ullrichs to Fuentes, which amounted to 120,000 euros per year. A week later, Ullrich resigned from the Swiss Cycling Federation. As a justification, he cited the "character assassination campaign" carried out against him by the association . However, since Ullrich was driving under a Swiss license at the time of his suspension, the association held on to the proceedings against him. While the Association of German Cyclists dismissed a German license for Ullrich as “unimaginable” , Rudolf Massak , General Secretary of the Austrian Cycling Association, offered Ullrich a license should the German decide to move to Austria. The ongoing investigations of the Swiss federation, however, according to the ethics agreement of the UCI, excluded any participation in a ProTour race by Ullrich.

With the decision of the responsible judge in the criminal proceedings against Fuentes on October 28, 2006, to release the results of the Operación Puerto only for criminal prosecution, the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation suspended the disciplinary proceedings against all suspected riders. This unsealing of the Spanish files made both the ongoing proceedings against Ullrich in Germany and the measures aimed at by the Swiss Association for January 2007 more difficult. On December 21, Lorenz Schläfli expressed himself pessimistically about whether disciplinary proceedings based on circumstantial evidence would even come about, and complained of general impotence: "You can't do anything [...] we have no chance" .

Transfer through DNS comparison

In January 2007, the responsible Bonn public prosecutor, Friedrich Apostel, sought an early DNA analysis in the criminal proceedings against Jan Ullrich. His lawyers tried to prevent the comparison of the samples in several ways: First, at the end of 2006, they objected to legal assistance proceedings by the public prosecutor's office to transfer the blood samples attributed to Ullrich from Spain to Bonn. Ulrich Theune, one of the professional cyclist's lawyers, said: “The reports from the Guardia Civil contain a mixed bag of baseless allegations, speculations and suspicions. They were created illegally, illegally distributed and deliberately misinterpreted. ” On January 22nd, Ullrich's legal representative also filed an objection to the surrender of the saliva sample that Ullrich had given to the Swiss police in the autumn and other evidence. Here, too, according to statements by lawyer Johann Schwenn, it is not about the DNA sample, but about preventing the disclosure of private documents.

On January 31, Ullrich submitted another saliva sample for analysis by the Bonn public prosecutor's office. The daily El País reported on February 24, 2007 that the National Court of Justice of Spain had rejected the objection to the transfer of the blood bags to Germany. He relied on the European mutual legal assistance agreement.

In a 45-minute statement at a press conference at the InterContinental Hotel in Hamburg on February 26, Ullrich announced the end of his career as an active cyclist. It was Ullrich's first lengthy statement after his suspension in June 2006. He initially expressed his dismay at the course of the scandal and the prejudice from the media, but emphasized that he had "not cheated or harmed anyone" . Instead, Ullrich attacked media representatives, Werner Franke, the cycling associations UCI and Swiss Cycling and the President of the Association of German Cyclists, Rudolf Scharping, on a larger scale . International media reports sharply criticized the statement, to which no further inquiries were allowed. Ullrich would hardly have commented on the doping allegations against himself and, as he has done for months, failed to clarify.

Following the press conference, which was broadcast simultaneously on the television station n24 , Ullrich recorded an interview for the Beckmann talk show , which was broadcast on the ARD program that evening. Ullrich responded evasively to Beckmann's questions about contact with Eufemiano Fuentes. He could not provide any information as long as criminal proceedings were ongoing against him in this matter. After the broadcast, Ullrich's lawyers protested against the usual repetition of the broadcast on the 3sat television channel . Wolfgang Strohband stated on Jan Ullrich's homepage that Beckmann had not kept the verbal agreements made in the preliminary discussion. Specifically, it was about critical questions about the Fuentess scandal and the involvement of doping expert Hajo Seppelt . The NDR responsible for the broadcast denied that such an agreement had existed. “The fact that talk guests are given the right to order cuts after a program is neither in line with the journalistic self-image of the NDR nor our practice,” explained program director Volker Herres .

After Ullrich tried again in vain in mid-March 2007 to prevent the release of the blood bags seized in Spain, the Bonn public prosecutor published the results of the DNS comparison on April 3rd. According to the chief public prosecutor Friedrich Apostel, the blood products seized in May 2006 with the labels “Jan”, “Number 1” and “Rudi's son” came from Ullrich “without a doubt”. The conviction of Ullrich, at least having been in contact with Fuentes, sparked demands to resume the proceedings against other drivers such as Ivan Basso, and ultimately led to several confessions in the Spanish doping case.

Conviction by the International Court of Justice

In May 2007, Ullrich was charged again as part of the doping affair involving the Telekom team . While other former Telekom drivers such as Erik Zabel , Rolf Aldag and Bjarne Riis confessed to systematic doping in the course of the 1990s, Ullrich did not admit it. Although Rudy Pevenage admitted long-standing contacts to Fuentes and the organization of trips to Madrid both in July 2007 and in July 2010, Ullrich continued to deny having ever doped.

The public prosecutor's office in Bonn stopped the criminal proceedings against Jan Ullrich for fraud on April 13, 2008 against payment of an amount of 250,000 euros to non-profit organizations and the state. In a statement, the Chief Public Prosecutor Friedrich Apostel assessed Ullrich's criminal energy as "rather low" and pointed out that the former professional cyclist had been punished sufficiently by the end of his career and the fact that "his outstanding reputation as a sportsman was largely damaged" . The public prosecutor was convinced that Ullrich had doped, but in view of a "basic attitude that [...] prevailed at the active time of the accused in cycling" , he could not be charged with this as "fraud" in the sense of the indictment.

After the Swiss Cycling Federation closed its investigations against Ullrich in February 2010, the UCI moved to the International Court of Justice. The Swiss Anti-Doping Agency acted as a joint plaintiff. After nearly two years of proceedings, Ullrich was found guilty on February 9, 2012 of having had contact with Eufemiano Fuentes. As a result, the Sports Court imposed the usual two-year ban on Ullrich and denied him all professional victories since May 1, 2005, including the victory at the Tour de Suisse 2006 . Jan Ullrich then confirmed the allegations made against him for the first time in almost six years by publicly confessing his collaboration with Fuentes.

Ivan Basso and other Italian professional cyclists

Ivan Basso
Michele Scarponi

Similar to Jan Ullrich, the Italian Ivan Basso was suspended from his CSC team after being named in connection with the Operación Puerto the day before the Tour de France 2006 . He also denied any contact with Eufemiano Fuentes.

The Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport published on July 5, 2006 excerpts from telephone conversations between Fuentes and Labarta, which had been recorded by the Guardia Civil during the Giro d'Italia in May. The report by the Spanish police quoted Labarta as saying: “[…] I saw that Bufalo made the fourth […] then 16 seconds after that Birillo came with Simoni and at 20 came Zapatero […] I want to say that those who It concerns you, and those with whom you only have to deal with marginally are at least already well in the running ” The people behind the three codenames“ Bufalo ”,“ Birillo ”and“ Zapatero ”were identified on the basis of the daily ranking. Fourth of the stage on May 13th was José Enrique Gutierrez , also known as “Bufalo” in the field. Alongside Gilberto Simoni, Ivan Basso , Davide Rebellin and Serhij Hontschar crossed the finish line 16 seconds behind . “Birillo” was associated with Basso's dog of the same name (cf. similarity to the connection between the code name “Piti” and Alejandro Valverde ). Michele Scarponi , among others, was listed with 20 seconds behind the first place . The police assigned the name “Zapatero” to Scarponi through the relationship between the Italian scarpa and the Spanish zapato (“shoe”). Both Basso and Scarponi could also be identified as Fuentes customers on the basis of further recorded telephone calls.

On August 21, 2006 Bjarne Riis , manager at Team CSC, distanced himself from Ivan Basso to the Danish daily Politiken . Just like Ullrich's Team T-Mobile, Riis demanded proof of innocence from his Italian team captain. “If Basso had contact with Fuentes, he would have lied to me and accordingly cheated on the whole team and the values ​​we defend. Then it would be over for him at CSC. ” A week later, Basso again declared in front of the Disciplinary Committee of the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) that he had not obtained any doping substances from Fuentes.

On September 20, the Bergamo public prosecutor's office searched 36 private homes and offices across Italy as part of a large-scale doping raid and initiated investigations against cyclist Luca Paolini and Ivan Basso's sister Elisa. Both had visited a fitness center in Bergamo in which a truck with doping substances worth a total of 300,000 euros had been discovered. But there was no connection with the proceedings against Ivan Basso, emphasized the investigating prosecutor.

After a second hearing on Basso on September 29, 2006 and the receipt of investigative reports from the Madrid Public Prosecutor's Office, Franco Cosenza , prosecutor of the Olympic Committee, declared on October 12 that the proceedings against Basso called for by the UCI would not come about. The evidence is currently insufficient for an indictment. The Spanish Cycling Federation also closed its investigations on October 27th. Basso was again approved for all races. On October 19th, Basso and CSC mutually agreed to terminate the driver's contract. In the opinion of Hans-Michael Holczer , head of the Gerolsteiner team , Basso would have little time to find a new team, as it could be assumed that the UCI would appeal against the termination of the proceedings before the International Court of Justice. Professional cyclists against whom legal proceedings are in progress are not allowed to compete in races according to the ProTeams code of ethics or to be contracted by one of the teams. On November 8, 2006, the Gazzetta dello Sport wrote that Basso had signed a three-year contract with the ProTeam Discovery Channel .

According to the Spanish newspaper Interviú , police found new incriminating evidence against Basso, including diaries for blood draws and infusions and evidence of payments of 111,000 euros to Fuentes between 2004 and 2006. The National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) was in the chair by Ettore Torri , the case against the Italians on 24 April 2007 again. Basso was also suspended from the Discovery Channel team. Team spokesmen had stated that Basso would be ready for a DNS comparison. According to reports by the Gazzetta, the CONI had seven blood bags at its disposal at that time, which were confiscated during the doping raid in May 2006 and assigned to the person with the code name “Birillo”. The media suspected that Basso could face a "false testimony and anti-doping law violation" trial. The CONI would require a DNA test from Basso and the also suspected drivers Giampaolo Caruso , Luca Paolini and Michele Scarponi.

Basso announced on April 30, 2007 the termination of his contract with Discovery Channel. Due to his involvement in the doping scandal, he would stand in the way of the search for a new main sponsor for the team, which was currently underway. In his hearing before the Olympic Committee on May 2, Michele Scarponi agreed to provide a DNA sample. Ivan Basso, on the other hand, withdrew his consent - as he had done several times in the past few months - and his hearing was postponed. The next day, however, Basso agreed to take the DNA test.

On May 7th, Ivan Basso was the first professional cyclist to confess to having been a customer of the doping network around Fuentes. At a press conference the next day, he substantiated his confession and made it clear that he had won his victories without illegal performance-enhancing agents. For the Tour de France 2006, however, the enrichment of his blood with EPO was planned. The blood supplies intended for this purpose were confiscated as part of the Operación Puerto in Spain. On the same day, Michele Scarponi also admitted to being involved in the Fuentes affair before the Olympic Committee. He would also have "laid out the entire doping system of Fuentes in two hours," wrote the Gazetta .

The Italian media reacted sympathetically to the revelations made by the professional cyclists. Pat McQuaid, on the other hand, said that there should be neither pity nor a shortened doping ban for the two of them. On May 14, 2007, CONI applied for a temporary ban on Basso and Scarponi from the Italian Cycling Federation.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reported on May 16 that both Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich had been seen meeting Fuentes in a Freiburg hotel prior to the 2006 Giro d'Italia. The sports newspaper relied on the investigation by a German public prosecutor's office. The documents were already available to the responsible lawyers in Bergamo and the Italian anti-doping commission.

On June 15, 2007, the Italian Cycling Federation imposed a two-year ban on Ivan Basso. Minus the time during his suspension by CSC at the end of June 2006, Basso was not allowed to contest any more cycling races until October 24, 2008. Basso's lawyer had pleaded against the maximum sentence of two years based on his confession. The Olympic Committee had only requested a ban of 21 months. Scarponi was sentenced to an 18-month suspension a month later.

Jörg Jaksche

The investigation against Jörg Jaksche , the second German professional cyclist among the suspected athletes, was also discontinued on November 22, 2006. The Austrian cycling association, under whose national jurisdiction Jaksche fell, had been investigating the German since the incidents at the end of June.

After Ullrichs was transferred in spring 2007 and, most recently, the confessions of Basso and Scarponi brought new wind into the investigation into the doping scandal, the public prosecutor's office in Ansbach had started investigations against Jörg Jaksche. The German was threatened with proceedings for “fraud against race organizers through doping”.

On July 2, 2007, Jaksche was the third professional cyclist after Basso and Scarponi to confess to being involved in the doping scandal. In a detailed interview with Der Spiegel , he explained that the German doctor Markus Choina, who had worked with Fuentes and was arrested in autumn 2006 (see doping network in Germany ), had given him infusions of autologous blood to improve performance. In the conversation he indirectly brought the Kazakh Tour de France favorite Alexander Vinokurow into connection with Fuentes. Regarding 2006, Jaksche explained: “ Saiz had problems with a top rider from his team who switched to Liberty Seguros at the beginning of the year and had a very bad spring. The driver and his manager, who had also been my manager for five years, had put pressure on Saiz. They wanted better medical care, and Saiz agreed to it […] “ Vinokurov had already denied being a customer of Eufemiano Fuentes. Jaksche made himself available to the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI as a key witness.

On September 19, 2007, the Austrian Cycling Association issued a one-year ban against Jörg Jaksche. Based on his confession, the responsible anti-doping committee decided against the maximum penalty of a two-year driving ban. The suspension ended on July 2, 2008.

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde

The Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde was linked to the doping affair on September 16, 2006 when it became known that a document confiscated from Fuentes had the abbreviation “Valv. Piti ”was found. Valverde's dog was named "Piti". Ivan Basso's pseudonym “Birillo” was probably based on the name of his pet. Spokesmen for the cycling federation and the Spanish government stood behind Valverde, who was runner-up in the Vuelta a España at the time and had been considered a promising talent in Spain for years.

After eight of the approximately 200 blood products seized tested positive for EPO in November 2006, the allegations against Valverde were raised again in early 2007. One of the bags containing the doping agent had the well-known abbreviation “Valv. Piti “labeled. The UCI tried before the International Court of Justice in Valverde, who had started his career in 2002 with Team Kelme , about a starting ban from the road cycling world championships on 25-30. September 2007 to be excluded, but this failed.

A DNA comparison between the EPO-spiked blood labeled “Valv. Piti ”and a sample that Valverde had to submit at a stage arrival of the Tour de France 2008 on Italian soil, produced an unequivocal match in February 2009. At a first hearing before the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) on February 18, Valverde denied any allegations of doping.

However, the DNA analysis was sufficient for the court to uphold Ettore Totti's charges of “doping or attempted doping” against Valverde and to condemn the Spaniard on May 11, 2009 to a two-year ban from racing in Italy. The judgment was heavily criticized because, as a Spaniard, Valverde fell under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Cycling Federation and, according to the decision of the Spanish investigating judge, the blood sample used from the Fuentes raid was not approved for proceedings abroad. Since the Tour de France 2009 led over a distance of 90 km over Italian territory, Valverde was not allowed to participate. His lawyers brought an action against the judgment of the CONI before the International Sports Court in Lausanne, Switzerland. This confirmed the legality of the Italy ban until May 10, 2011 on March 16, 2010. Valverde's appeal before the Swiss Federal Court was also rejected. CONI President Gianni Petrucci called on the World Cycling Federation to obtain a worldwide ban against the Spaniard. Together with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI sued the International Sports Court against the decision of the Spanish Cycling Federation not to block Valverde. In turn, the indications from the CONI's investigations were sufficient to ban the overall ProTour leader on May 31, 2010 worldwide up to and including December 31, 2011. His victories in the ProTour standings for 2010 have been canceled.

Consequences for cycling

  • July 11, 2006: The President of the Federation of German Cyclists , Rudolf Scharping , announced a “code of honor” for German cyclists and their teams due to the doping scandal. He also calls for the introduction of anti-doping laws such as those in France, Italy and Spain: “We need the help of the judiciary - events recently showed that. I think Interior Minister Schäuble is now open to it. "
  • September 23, 2006: Due to the incidents in the doping scandal Fuentes, the UCI ProTour teams tighten the code of ethics. So far, this guideline may have a. provided that drivers convicted of doping were not given a contract with a ProTeam for another two years after their ban . After the tightening, a ProTeam will be suspended for eight days if there have been two doping cases or starting bans after blood tests within twelve months. If this happens three times in two years, the team is suspended for one month, and the license must be returned for four incidents of this type. Furthermore, it should be possible to carry out blood tests on drivers in the team bus directly before the start, with which one would like to prevent possible manipulation. Agents on the doping list (e.g. asthma spray) that have been prescribed to a driver in a medical certificate for health reasons will no longer be recognized. Such agents may only be taken twice a season for health reasons if a certificate is available.
  • November 2, 2006: In Spain an anti-doping law was passed with a large majority. Accordingly, managers and doctors who administer banned substances to athletes can in future be sentenced to prison terms of up to two years. In addition, athletes who take part in national competitions have to undergo regular doping controls and can also be tested unannounced. Furthermore, an authority is to be created to coordinate the fight against doping. In the course of the vote in the Spanish parliament, the sports associations were criticized for their approach to the doping scandal surrounding Eufemiano Fuentes for having acted prematurely. One MP said that the sports federations had trampled on the fundamental rights of drivers.
  • December 8, 2006: The Discovery Channel team is to be excluded from the IPCT association. This was decided by the organization, to which all the s except La Française des Jeux belong, at an extraordinary meeting. By signing Ivan Basso in November, Discovery Channel had violated the ProTour code of ethics, as the proceedings had been closed due to insufficient evidence against Basso, but he was still under suspicion of doping. If the criminal proceedings against Fuentes are over, the National Olympic Committee Italy could reopen the proceedings against Basso, because they are then allowed to use the investigative documents of the Spanish judiciary, which could then lead to new findings and a possible conviction of Basso. The operating company Active Bay was also excluded from the association by Manolo Saiz. The decision on Discovery Channel will not be made until January 11, 2007. The exclusion would have no further consequences for Discovery Channel and they are allowed to keep their ProTour license.
  • January 12, 2007: At a meeting of the International Association of s (IPCT), the teams decided to work more closely with the Spanish investigators in the Fuentes doping scandal. Among other things, the teams agreed to provide DNA samples from drivers involved in the scandal.
  • March 9, 2007: The World Cycling Federation UCI presents its new anti-doping program " Biological Passport ". For example, a profile of biological parameters should be created for all drivers of teams with a ProTour license, in particular based on blood tests, but also urine tests, for some also a steroid profile, so that possible manipulation can be detected at an early stage. In addition, every driver must undergo a blood test at least four times a year and an unannounced training test at least once a year. This regulation also applies to all second-rate teams that are invited to ProTour races. These tightening are the consequences of the UCI on the doping scandal surrounding Eufemiano Fuentes.
  • March 12, 2007: After the investigation against Eufemiano Fuentes and all the other suspects in the criminal proceedings in Spain was closed, the drivers and teams reacted. With a minute's silence before the start of the first leg of Paris Nice , the drivers protested against the termination of the investigation. In a statement by the association of teams, it said that the ProTour code of ethics would continue to be adhered to and that the Spanish judiciary would be asked to release the investigation reports for sports law proceedings.
  • April 7th, 2007: Due to the positive result of Jan Ullrich's DNA analysis, the IPCT association and the international association of professional teams AIGCP call on all authorities and associations affected by Operation Puerto to ensure that everyone is involved in the doping scandal Fuentes suspect drivers must perform a DNA analysis. In a joint declaration, the two organizations address the world cycling association UCI, the national cycling associations, the world anti-doping agency WADA and the governments.
  • May 1, 2007: The German ProTeams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner announce civil suits against all drivers involved in the doping scandal. So they want to increase the pressure on the Spanish authorities and the professional cyclists. In addition, Bob Stapleton , the team manager of T-Mobile, spoke out in the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the event company ASO, which is subordinate to the Tour de France, also sued all suspected drivers in French courts for suspected fraud.
  • June 19, 2007: The ProTour teams decide that by the start of the Tour de France on July 7th, all their riders must sign a declaration of honor in which they declare that they have not been involved in a doping scandal. In addition, the drivers must agree to hand in a DNA sample for comparison with blood bags that have been seized at Fuentes. If a professional cyclist is convicted of doping, he has to pay an annual salary as a penalty. However, the declaration of honor is not legally enforceable and is based on the voluntary behavior of the driver.
  • June 22, 2007: Former Spanish professional cyclist Jesus Manzano incriminates Jan Ullrich in the Fuentes doping scandal. According to an interview with the star , a Fuentes masseur reported to him in 2000 or 2001 that Ullrich was being looked after by Fuentes. In contrast to Marco Pantani and athletes and soccer players, he never saw Ullrich personally at the Spanish doctor's.
  • July 5, 2007: At the meeting of the AIGCP two days before the start of the Tour de France 2007 , the teams break up because not all of them have signed the code of ethics . On the agenda was the expulsion of Relax-GAM Fuenlabrada , Saunier Duval-Prodir , Caisse d'Epargne , Lampre-Fondital and Discovery Channel from the organization because the teams violated the code of ethics by employing drivers involved in the Fuentes doping scandal had. A representative of a Spanish team is said to have stated that they do not do doping, but take medicine, just like any other athlete, whereupon the representatives of eight teams left the meeting and founded the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible on July 25, 2007 .

The doping scandal outside of cycling

In September 2006, UCI President Pat McQuaid complained about the doping scandal being restricted to cycling. Fuentes had already confirmed after his arrest that the majority of his clients were involved in other sports. As far as McQuaid knew, not even 30% of the approximately 200 athletes affected came from cycling. The fact that the drivers now suspected had only been noticed in isolated cases during doping tests in the recent past was explained by the use of undetectable doping practices. The confessed doping sinner Jesús Manzano supported McQuaid's suspicions a few days later in a broadcast on the French television channel France 3 .

During his time as an active professional cyclist, he met many athletes at Fuentes. This included football players from the Spanish Primera División and various athletes. He named Abel Antón and Martín Fiz , both former marathon world champions, as well as the runners Alberto García and Reyes Estévez , both former European champions over 5000 m and 1500 m respectively. As the police reporter for the El País newspaper reported, the second stage of the Operación Puerto , which is now starting, will focus on football and athletics.

The suspicions were substantiated with a report in the French newspaper Le Monde on December 7, 2006. According to this, the paper was in the possession of documents that were in Fuentes' residence on Gran Canaria and therefore had not been confiscated during the raid in May. These included training plans for the two most successful clubs in the Spanish football league, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid , which were provided with a doping code known from the documents seized. Also, the Valencia and Betis were of Le Monde brought with Fuentes in connection. Most of the cooperation with him was done through the team doctors. The clubs involved denied any involvement. Fuentes confirmed that he had also worked for Spanish football clubs in the first and second division, but was not specific.

The Operación Galgo

In December 2010, the Fuentes doping scandal reached its next climax. During the Operación Galgo ("Operation Greyhound" - alluding to runs in athletics), the Guardia Civil arrested fourteen people suspected of having been trafficking in doping substances. In addition to Eufemiano Fuentes, his sister Yolanda, the long-distance runner and vice-president of the Spanish Athletics Association Marta Domínguez , their manager José Alonso , the athletic trainers César Pérez and Manuel Pascua, the long-distance runner Alberto García and the former mountain biker Alberto León were arrested .

More than 60 Spanish athletes issued a statement welcoming the actions of the judicial authorities and expressing their hope that the guilty would be punished. According to the long-distance runner Jesús España , the work of the doping ring was an "open secret" .

The European Cross Country Championships on December 12, 2010 took place without the defending champion Alemayehu Bezabeh , who, according to media reports, had been caught red-handed by the Civil Guard on December 9 while doping blood. The Spanish association then deleted the Ethiopian-born athlete, who was trained by Manuel Pascua, from the list. Fuentes and five other suspects were conditionally released after interrogation.

According to a December 12 report in the El País newspaper, suspects were found to have been suspected of money laundering in tax havens . Fuentes' current clientele goes beyond Spanish athletes. Marta Domínguez protested her innocence in an interview with the radio station Cadena SER and denied that illegal substances had been found in her home. José María Odriozola , President of the Spanish Athletics Federation RFEA, described himself as a “victim of this affair” and said he would not resign. He also confirmed reports that Alemayehu Bezabeh had admitted to him that he had been caught doping blood.

On December 15, El País revealed that one of the blood bags seized during the Operación Puerto could be linked to a document that had also been seized with Domínguez's cell phone number. This would have prompted the investigating authorities to take action again. Former mountain biker Alberto León, who is said to have belonged to the core of the doping network around Fuentes, committed suicide by hanging on January 10, 2011 in his house near Madrid.

Marta Domínguez was exonerated in mid-2011 from the allegation of dealing in doping substances and from the allegation of having administered a drug to an athlete friend without a license. The proceedings in these cases have been closed.

Affected teams and drivers

The following people have been linked to the doping network around Fuentes since 2006. Most of the encrypted names in Fuentes documents have been identified by the Spanish judiciary but have only been proven in a few cases. The allocation of the drivers to the individual teams is based on the status of early summer 2006.

In the early summer of 2006, the following drivers were not under contract with a team:


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Web links

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