MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal says the decision to destroy blood evidence in the Operation Puerto doping case was “a mistake.”
Nadal says Friday “the ruling wasn’t positive for anyone. The only ones that benefited were the ones who cheated.”
In the verdict on Tuesday, doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was found guilty and given a one-year suspended sentence for endangering the health of cyclists through blood doping.
Judge Julia Santamaria cited privacy laws when ordering the destruction of more than 100 blood bags seized by police seven years ago. That means anti-doping authorities cannot examine the blood to identify more athletes.
Several prominent cyclists have been identified in the scandal. Fuentes testified he had clients from other sports, including soccer, tennis, boxing and track, but they were not identified.
Anti-doping organizations may appeal.