Like a fantastic fable, like the Loch Ness monster, Eufemiano Fuentes appears mysterious in the life of Spanish sport, and disappears from it, cyclically, and always leaves behind him a trail of seemingly unfathomable suspicion. And he loves playing the reverse Midas king, dirtying everything he touches, what he talks about. Every year the talk of always is rekindled among athletics people. Eufemiano is back, he has settled in Portugal, he does not have a penny, he has lost the money he had in Switzerland, the representatives offer their blood transfusion services to athletes for 10,000 euros … And the talks always end the same, with a some resentment, and why is there not talk of doping in football? What did Eufemiano do in football?
This question is asked directly by Jordi Évole in the interview that is broadcast this Sunday night (About Évole, La Sexta, 21.25), one of the few granted in recent years by the Las Palmas doctor, acquitted by the Madrid Provincial Court (2016) of the crime against health for which he was convicted in the 2013 trial of the Operation Port (2006).
“Officially I have not worked for more teams,” answers Fuentes, 66, when Évole quotes UD Las Palmas, Elche and the University. “Unofficially it was sometimes hired, or required, rather, because contracts were not signed, to advise their technicians, their doctors, in the control, follow-up, recovery, help … And by express wish of them they did not pay me No, he asked me to pay someone else, a figurehead that I’m not going to say. He would receive about 10 million pesetas (60,000 euros) for one year. According to the meetings he had, a million (6,000 euros) per meeting. That happened two years, with the same team ”.
It is then that the interviewer shows him information published by EL PAÍS on February 5, 2013, during the Operation Puerto trial, supported by two documents that point to an economic relationship, at least, between the Royal Society and the Canarian doctor . This is the accounting b of the Royal Society revealed by the former president of the San Sebastian club Iñaki Badiola and a handwritten paper of page size headed by the headline Asti accounts, short for the surname of the president of the Real in January 2002, date that is cited in the paper, José Luis Astiazaran, later president of the Professional Football League.
The documents indicate expenses of 42,070 euros in “medic” in January and 5,382 euros more in “German medicines” in February, apart from 12,765 euros of “salary” ·
Regarding these documents, Évole reminds him that that Real from 2002-2003, that of Schürrer, Aranzabal, López Rekarte, Xabi Alonso, De Pedro, De Paula and Karpin, finished second in the League and a dialogue is established in which Fuentes responds:
“I recognize the handwriting as my own. I have no knowledge of this [las cuentas b]I’m seeing it for the first time, but it’s worth it ”.
“Did you advise the doctors of the Royal Society?” Asks Évole.
-I’m seeing that, and I have to believe it is true and I want to believe it is true. And if that is true … – answers the doctor
“The source is the newspaper EL PAÍS …”, the journalist specified.
-It is a source that makes me tremble. He called me a “criminal” and it’s a lie [EL PAÍS no le llamó criminal, sino que reprodujo la acusación de la Guardia Civil en la que se le acusaba de formar “una trama criminal”]… I recognize this letter as mine, period. Come from wherever.
– Were you a doctor of the Royal Society?
-I was not a doctor of the Royal Society, but I see this and you would have to think that I advised them in some way, right?
But more than football, the issue that upsets Fuentes to the point of having led to an obsession is his relationship with the leaders of Spanish sport. Before turning 30, in 1984, Fuentes was hired as a doctor by the Spanish athletics federation chaired by Juan Manuel de Hoz, and with Carlos Gil as technical director. He received the mandate, says the doctor, that Spanish athletes compete on equal terms. “Do what you have to do,” they told me. “We don’t want positive results, but we do want results.”
Coach Manuel Pascua passed on his contacts with Eastern European athletics, the paradise of anabolics, and Fuentes went there, “to learn” doping techniques. “The federation knew that I went not only as a coach, but to learn techniques to improve performance. I knew it. That is clear, ”Fuentes says, and recounts how he paid the Eastern European coaches $ 500 for their information.
The doctor who organized a blood transfusion system for athletes at the beginning of the century and prepared the great lady of Spanish athletics, Marta Domínguez, who was finally suspended for doping, wears the Barcelona 92 medals, and still believes that Operation Puerto, his arrest, his trial, “for doing something that was not prohibited,” was revenge by the State for saying no to him in 2004.
According to Tomás Valdivielso, his lawyer, in a letter, when the PSOE won the elections in March 2004, the president of the Higher Sports Council (Jaime Lissavetzky), concerned about the decline in Olympic medals, contacted him “through a Olympic gold of Barcelona 92 and close to the PSOE who, it seems, had been treated by Eufemiano Fuentes “and asked him” to take over the Spanish Olympic team again, an offer that my client declined. “