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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Other sports linked to drug probe
The doctor at the centre of the Spanish doping investigation which has rocked cycling says he has also treated tennis players, footballers and athletes.

Eufemiano Fuentes was questioned by police after a six-month investigation in Spain but insists his methods cannot be classed as doping.

However the International Tennis Federation say they have been told no tennis players are being investigated.

President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "All top players are tested regularly."

He added: "We have contacted the appropriate Spanish authorities and have been assured in writing by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science that no tennis players, either Spanish or foreign, are under investigation.

"We feel that it is unfair and unfortunate that tennis players, including Rafael Nadal, have been named, erroneously, as under investigation.

"Players are very aware of the rules of the WADA Code. We appreciate the assistance of the Spanish authorities in providing us very quickly with the necessary confirmation.?

Fuentes told Cadena Ser radio: "I'm angry about the whole matter.

"I've worked with other sports: tennis, football and athletics. There are a lot of names that haven't come out."

Fuentes was one of five men arrested by the Spanish Civil Guard in May following the lengthy doping investigation, nicknamed Operation Puerto.

A series of addresses were raided, where anabolic steroids and packs of frozen blood were found.

In the fall-out from the investigation, the Astana-Wurth team were forced to withdraw from the Tour de France after five of their riders were named among a list of 56 cyclists by the investigation team.

There have only been selective leaks and I don't know why

Eufemiano Fuentes
In all, 13 rides were withdrawn by their teams from the Tour, including race favourites Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich, who have both denied any wrongdoing.

Fuentes' comments are in stark contrast to the claims of Spanish authorities, who on Tuesday rejected reports in the French media suggesting the doping issue was not just a problem for cycling.

The Higher Sports Council said: "This report lacks foundation because no soccer player or tennis player is affected by the investigation carried out by the Civil Guard."

But Fuentes said: "There are a lot names that haven't come out. There have only been selective leaks and I don't know why.

"I've worked with Spanish football teams from the first and second divisions that have improved their performance. If I haven't carried out the treatment myself I have recommended it to them."

Fuentes also defended his methods, in which blood is removed from a patient and frozen. The patient's body then automatically creates more red-blood cells to make up for the deficiency before the removed blood is reinjected giving their body a further boost.

"They are biological treatments to help the recovery of sportsmen," he said. "You cannot manipulate the blood. You can take it out because there may be health problems or problems with its regulation.

"You can replace it if the life of the sportsman is in danger or maybe not. My aim is to care for my patients."

SEE ALSO
Drug probe forces out Tour stars
30 Jun 06 |  Cycling
Defiant Basso protests innocence
01 Jul 06 |  Cycling
Cycling's latest scandal
30 Jun 06 |  Cycling


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