Fuentes says he never treated Real Madrid players

March 23, 2013

Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the center of the Operation Puerto blood-doping trial, says he never treated Real Madrid's players, following the club's announcement that it plans to sue him for giving the impression that he had.

Fuentes told Europa Press news agency on Saturday that ''if Madrid wants to sue me, they can go ahead, but I have never treated a Real Madrid player.''

''If Madrid understood (what I said) as such, then I think they got confused,'' Fuentes said. ''Madrid has nothing to do with Operation Puerto. I am not nor have I ever been a doctor for Real Madrid, neither directly nor indirectly. I have never given a Madrid player as much as an aspirin.''

Fuentes said on Friday that Madrid owed him money without specifying the reason.

The club responded with a statement that the money owed Fuentes was for travel expenses when he testified in a court case against Le Monde newspaper and that he had never worked for Madrid.

The club said it would sue Fuentes for his ''intention of confusing the public opinion about his relation with the club with evident bad intent and with the goal of damaging the image of the club.''

Fuentes is one of five defendants currently under trial in the Spanish capital on charges of having endangered the health of cyclists with improperly administered blood transfusions designed to boost their performance.

The trial's scope is limited to public health laws since doping was not illegal in 2006 when police began their investigation into the alleged blood-doping ring. Spain has since passed anti-doping legislation and its Parliament will vote on an even tougher law this summer.

''I didn't say what I said with the intention of offending anyone,'' Fuentes said on Saturday. ''But rather in the interest of recovering the money that I am owed.''