Spanish cycling drugs trial opens

A major trial over doping in cycling was beginning in Spain today, offering the prospect of new revelations about the sport’s dark side.

In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s doping admission, five defendants are due to appear in a Madrid court. The long-delayed Operation Puerto trial follows the discovery by Spanish investigators of one of cycling’s most sophisticated and widespread doping networks seven years ago.

The case, in which 35 witnesses are expected to give evidence, is due to last until March 22.

One of the defendants is Eufemiano Fuentes, a doctor.

His sister and fellow doctor Yolanda Manolo Saiz, a former ONCE and Liberty Seguros team sports director, as well as Vicente Belda and Ignacio Labarta, both associated with the former Kelme team, also face trial.

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