Operation Puerto fails to link players with drug abuse

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The Independent Online

A report in a French newspaper earlier this week said leading tennis and football players were part of an investigation named Operation Puerto. "Following reports in the media, the ITF was immediately in touch with the Spanish authorities to request information about allegations that tennis players are under investigation," the ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said in a statement.

"We have today 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.

"All top players are tested regularly under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and are aware of the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency Code code."

The ITF's statement came a day after the Spanish government categorically denied that footballers and tennis players had been implicated in the drugs investigation into cycling.