Tyler Hamilton Points Finger At Fuentes In Operation Puerto Trial

On Tuesday, American cyclist Tyler Hamilton described in detail how Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes who is at the center of the Operation Puerto trial oversaw his program of blood doping and supplied him with banned substances including Erythropoietin (EPO).

The former teammate and friend of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, Hamilton was speaking through an interpreter by video link from the Spanish embassy in Washington and spoke for approximately three hours about his time as a patient of the Spanish doctor between 2002-04 when the rider paid him as much as 110,000 euros ($146,900) for his services. The 41-year-old Hamilton came clean about his doping past in an award-winning book ‘The Secret Race’, and revealed he met Eufemiano Fuentes at a clinic or in apartments in Madrid and Monaco and in “many, many hotel rooms” and the pair spoke and sent text messages using “secret phones”.

While the Spanish doctor was watching him on a large-screen television, Hamilton told the court that his blood transfusion under the direction of the doctor was in March 2002 and he said he had met him “probably 15 times”, each time having blood extracted or reinjected. The relationship between Tyler Hamilton and Eufemiano Fuentes ended in September 2004 when traces of someone else’s blood were found in one of the samples of the cyclist and he was suspended for a period of two years.

In August 2012, Hamilton was stripped of the time-trial gold medal he won at the 2004 Athens Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Hamilton also told the court the Spanish doctor have him a calendar with a schedule of races and a schedule of when to take what performance enhancing drugs and said Fuentes gave him EPO if he remembers correctly. Hamilton, wearing a light gray suit, white shirt, and striped tie, said he provided me with EPO, growth hormone, insulin, and testosterone and the cyclist added that his greatest fear was something like the Operation Puerto trial happening.

The Spanish doctor and four other defendants, including his sister Yolanda, are making an appearance in the court almost seven years after anabolic steroids, transfusion equipment, and numbered blood bags were seized by police as part of the Puerto investigation. Fuentes has revealed that he had clients in sports including soccer, tennis, athletics, and boxing. The doctor and other accused are being tried for violating public health regulations and the prosecutor has asked for prison terms of two years as the present anti-doping legislation of Spain was not in force in 2006 when the police raids took place. Hamilton was questioned about whether he had been warned of the possible risks from blood doping and if he had any negative reaction to the transfusions or drugs. The cyclist said during the Tour de France in July of 2004, he had a transfusion that gave him a bad fever and his urine was black when he went to the bathroom. When asked if he had anything more to say, Tyler Hamilton rendered an apology for breaking the rules. The trial is set to end on March 22.

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