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Doctor in cycling probe says he's treated other athletes

7/5/2006 - Soccer Tennis

MADRID, Spain -- The doctor at the center of a cycling
doping investigation says he has also treated athletes in soccer,
tennis and track and field.

But Eufemiano Fuentes suggested he didn't believe such treatment
could be considered doping. The Spanish government said Tuesday no
tennis or soccer players were involved.

"I'm referring to treatments to aid recovery, biological
treatments to improve athletic performance," Fuentes said in a
radio interview Tuesday night. "They work."

A Civil Guard police report on the investigation includes the
names of more than 50 cyclists, some of whom were forced to
withdraw before Saturday's start of the Tour de France. They
included favorites Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Francisco Mancebo.

"Names of cyclists have appeared, but there are other sports as
well, such as athletics, tennis or soccer, to mention a few
sports," Fuentes told Cadena SER radio. "I either performed the
treatments or recommended them."

He stressed that he had worked with soccer teams from the first
and second divisions of the Spanish league.

Five people, including Fuentes, were arrested and charged
provisionally in May when police seized drugs and frozen blood at a
Madrid clinic. The samples were thought to have been prepared for
performance-enhancing transfusions.

Two Spanish cycling teams -- Liberty Seguros, which later changed
its name to Astana-Wurth, and Comunidad Valenciana -- have been
implicated.

Fuentes and another doctor, Jose Merino Batres, face provisional
charges of crimes against public health. Both say they are
innocent.

Athletes allegedly went to the clinic to have blood extracted
for doping or to collect performance-enhancing drugs. Nearly 100
bags of frozen blood and equipment for treating blood were found,
along with documents on doping procedures performed on cyclists.

Fuentes said there has been a selective leak of names, adding he
did not know all those mentioned in the media. He refused to give
names, citing confidentiality as a doctor.

"I'm very angry about the whole thing," he said.