Nadal condemns destruction of 211 blood bags from doping investigation Operation Puerto that allows cheats to go unnamed


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The Independent Online

World number five Rafael Nadal has criticised the decision of a Spanish court to destroy more than 200 blood bags seized during Operation Puerto - and therefore allow those involved to remain nameless.

Madrid judge Julia Santamaria earlier this week ordered the destruction of 211 bags of blood and other evidence seized in police raids on Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes in 2006, citing privacy laws. Fuentes has been given a suspended one-year jail sentence.

Fuentes confirmed in court he had clients from other sports, including tennis, football and athletics, but not that they had been involved in doping.

Eleven-time major winner Nadal was far from happy with the outcome and felt the only people who will have been content were the doping cheats.

"I'm not one to judge," he said at a press conference ahead of next week's ATP Mutua Madrid Open.

"My opinion is that the resolution is not good for anyone.

"The only ones who are benefiting are those who have cheated and it seems unfair that, in a case as serious and damaging as this to the image of sport, those most affected are the Spanish and the sport.

"I personally find it unfair to not give the names of those who have cheated, whether Spanish or not.

"(Spanish NBA star) Jose (Calderon) and I know the impression this gives of our country, and it is not what you expect."

He added: "I think the most positive thing is that you stop talking about it.

"I think it's a mistake not to give the names of those who have cheated - they deserve at least contempt from all athletes.

"This has not happened and now we must work to make the sport 100 per cent clean and hope that, in the future, cases of this type are not repeated."