Investigating judge Antonio Serrano of the court of Madrid closed the case in March 2007 but the state prosecution appealed
against his decision. Serrano motivated his decision saying that despite there being proof of doping practices, there
was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
Yesterday the court of appeal decided to re-open the case although the court agreed on with the original ruling
that neither the cyclists nor those who gave them doping substances were guilty of offences under the Spanish law in force
when the inquiry began.
The court gave back the case to judge Antonio Serrano and asked Serrano to order a report into the risks of conserving
blood in conditions not regulated by the health service.
The court of appeal also said that the involved athletes will not face criminal charges but they could be punished by sports
authorities if its proofen that they are involved in the doping case.
Doping was not punishable under Spanish law when the charges were brought in May 2006. The news anti-doping law was approved
by Spanish parliament after the case started. In his original decision to close the case Serrano said the case was not subject
to new tougher legislation introduced to deal with people who supply and administer drugs in sport.
Operation Puerto was launched after raids in Madrid and Zaragoza, where police found large quantities of anabolic steroids,
laboratory equipment used for blood transfusions and more than 200 bags of code-named blood, some of which were linked to
leading cyclists and athletes of other sports. A year later Spanish media reported that about 100 of the blood bags were missing.
In 2007 German media reported that the court of investigation never investigated the notebooks and computer hard discs of
Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. The notebooks and hard discs were confiscated during the raids in May 2006. Former Liberty
Seguros team manager Manolo Saiz, Eufemiano Fuentes and his colleague José Luis Merino Batres and others were arrested
during the raids. They were released on bail after being held in custody for a few days.
The former sporting director of the now defunct Liberty Seguros team, Manolo Saiz, doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and his colleague
Jose Luis Merino Batres were among those questioned by police.