Spanish government accused of covering-up sports' 'one-man Wal-Mart' of doping
The Spanish government has been accused of curbing proof linking footballers and tennis stars to a disreputable doctor who will go on trial in Madrid next week and has been described as a "one-man Wal-Mart" of doping, according to a report in an English daily.
Detectives in Spain have been gathering proof from all over Europe about Dr Eufemiano Fuentes since first raiding his offices in 2006, the Telegraph reports.
The inquiry, which is known as "Operation Puerto", has exposed one of the most widespread drug rings in sports history, it further added.
When Fuentes finally appears in court next Monday charged with public health offences, it will mark the start of a trial expected to last two months and at which cycling's rampant culture of drug use will be exposed again, just days after Lance Armstrong's dramatic confession on US television to Oprah Winfrey, the paper said.
But despite Fuentes freely admitting to working with professional footballers and tennis players as well as cyclists, the Spanish authorities have ruled that the case will only cover his involvement in cycling, the paper added.
The failure to explore in court Fuentes's work outside cycling has infuriated the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and led to accusations of a cover-up to limit the impact on Spain's sporting reputation, it further reported.
The paper added that Fuentes has admitted working with football teams in Spain's first and second divisions as well as tennis and handball players.
Spanish police are believed to have uncovered proof in Fuentes' huge database revealing names of his clients but these have never been made public, it reported.
In his book, The Secret Race, Hamilton compared Fuentes to the massive American chain Wal-Mart and that "even being conservative, Ufe [Fuentes] was making millions" from supplying doping programmes to athletes, it concluded.