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Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentas’s trial has started in Madrid in a doping case set to rock cycling. It has reached court nearly seven years after police raided offices of the doctor and seized around 200 bags of blood linked to a number of top cyclists.

He is charged with breaking public health laws as Spain had no anti-doping law at the time of his arrest.

Operation Puerto as it was known uncovered what one cyclist called a “treasure trove” of evidence. The blood or frozen plasma was allegedly used in a sophisticated doping programme to boost the cyclists’ red blood cell count and so enhance their performance.

Five other defendants are on trial including the sister of Dr. Fuentas.

Former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is one of more than 50 cyclists who was implicated in the case. He is expected to give evidence.

It has been claimed the bags of blood also related to athletes from other sports.

The trial is expected to last until mid-March

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