Jaksche casts doubt on Fuentes defense in Puerto trial
By Iain Rogers
MADRID (Reuters) - German cyclist Joerg Jaksche told the Operation Puerto trial on Monday that the treatment he received from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was designed to beat doping controls and had nothing to do with genuine health issues.
On the first day of testimony from professional riders before the judge in Madrid, Jaksche's evidence could have a bearing on whether the court decides that Fuentes, who denies doping, and his four fellow defendants violated public health laws.
Jaksche was the first cyclist to admit blood doping in connection with the Puerto investigation, which made it to court last month almost seven years after Spanish police seized anabolic steroids, transfusion equipment and blood bags.
The rider told German magazine Der Spiegel in June 2007 that he had used banned substances over a 10-year period and confirmed that from 2005 he was a client of Fuentes and that going to see him was like "going for an oil change".
As Spain's current anti-doping legislation was not in force in 2006 when the police raids took place, the accused, including Fuentes's sister Yolanda, are being tried for violating health laws and the prosecutor has asked for jail sentences of two years.
Jaksche told the court on Monday that as well as performing blood transfusions, Fuentes had supplied him with banned drugs including the booster erythropoietin (EPO).
He had also given him an unidentified "white powder" to contaminate urine samples, he added.
"It was never about health," Jaksche said. "I knew it was prohibited in sporting terms, legally I don't know." Continued...