Andy Murray questions a 'cover-up' over Fuentes cycling case

Andy Murray

British tennis player Andy Murray has criticised Spanish officials for their handling of the Operation Puerto trial, asking if they could be guilty of the "biggest cover-up in sports history".

Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was convicted on Tuesday for his role in supplying blood transfusions to cyclists.

But hope of identifying other athletes treated by Fuentes could be dashed by a court's decision to destroy evidence.

"Case is beyond a joke," tweeted world number three Murray.

"Why would court order blood bags to be destroyed? #coverup."

The Spanish anti-doping agency is planning to contest the court's decision to destroy 211 bags of frozen blood and plasma found when police raided the offices of Fuentes in 2006.

Anti-doping authorities and international sports bodies want to analyse the bags to see whether they implicate athletes in sports other than cycling, but Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria denied them access and ordered that the bags be destroyed.

Fuentes, who received a one-year suspended sentence for endangering public health, has worked with tennis players, runners, footballers and boxers, although he has not said whether he helped them dope.

Speaking in February, Murray said it was essential that anyone who was involved should be named.

"If one in 100 is doping then, in my eyes, that isn't a clean sport and we need to do everything we can to ensure we have everyone that's competing at the highest level and below is clean.

"I know what goes in my body and I know from my side that I'm clean, so that's all I can comment on."

In March it was announced that tennis was to implement an Athlete Biological Passport programme. The scheme sees the collection and comparison of biological data to spot discrepancies over time that suggest possible doping. This came after questions were raised by some of the sport's top players about existing drug-testing procedures which focused mainly on urine tests.

On the Fuentes case, a statement issued by the World Anti Doping Authority (Wada) said it hopes this is not the end of the matter.

It read: "Access to this evidence motivated Wada's involvement in this case. This would ensure appropriate sports sanction processes against the cheats who used Dr Fuentes' services. The court did consider that his conduct was a crime against public health."

Dick Pound, the former head of Wada, added: "It's embarrassing for Spain. Everybody knows we will be able to uncover quite a bit more doping if the examples are made available."