Alejandro Blanco, head of Madrid 2020, said Friday that the Operation Puerto trial into a doping ring in professional cycling has been “a mistake and a disaster” for Spanish sport, but Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics should not be penalized as a result.
The central figure in the trial, Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, was given a one-year prison term Tuesday for endangering public health, reports Reuters.
Spain’s anti-doping agency has reportedly said it will appeal. Reuters reports that the case, which has already lasted more than seven years since the initial police raids, could drag on towards September when a decision will be made as to which city, Tokyo, Istanbul or Madrid, would host the 2020 Games.
Blanco, who is also president of Spain’s Olympic Committee, told As sports daily, “the bid will be affected by both the good and the bad but we cannot be made responsible now for Operation Puerto. We cannot correct the past but we can the future and that is our concrete commitment, nobody can doubt that”.
He added, “the problem is that Operation Puerto has been a mistake and a disaster for Spanish sport from the start. The legal process has a time scale that is not the same as that in sport, where you have to decide things immediately. Now there will be appeals and the case will continue to drag on. It has been seven years already and that’s a whole career for many athletes”.