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Murray slams 'biggest cover-up in history'

ESPN staff
May 1, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
AEA appealing decision to destroy blood bags

Andy Murray has hit out at the Spanish judge who ordered the destruction of evidence relating to one of the biggest doping rings in sporting history.

Murray, the world No. 3, branded Madrid judge Julia Santamaria's decision to have 211 blood bags from 35 different, unnamed athletes destroyed "beyond a joke", adding that it was "the biggest cover-up in sports history".

The blood bags came from the office of disgraced doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who received a one-year suspended sentence on Tuesday for providing blood doping services to cyclists. However, Fuentes has previously revealed that he also consulted stars in other sports on medical matters - including football and tennis.

After Fuentes was sentenced, Santamaria ruled that the remaining blood bags - acquired as part of the seven-year Operation Puerto - could not be analysed by blood doping authorities, but instead must be destroyed. However, the World Anti-Doping Authority is hopeful that Spanish anti-doping authorities will be able to fight the decision.

Santamaria's ruling was also criticised by UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson.

"We are disappointed in the decision by the Spanish authorities," Parkinson said.

"Dr Fuentes has admitted to having been involved in multiple prohibited doping activities, and linked with multiple unnamed athletes. It therefore cannot be right that these names will remain unknown and that no immediate action can be taken by the anti-doping community to protect our clean athletes."

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