An online petition pressuring Spanish courts to preserve blood bags linked to the Operation Puerto doping scandal has reached 20,000 signatures. Petition-backers plan to hit the 25,000 mark before forwarding it to Spanish officials.
The petition began in the days following the April 30 ruling by a Spanish court to destroy more than 200 bags of blood and plasma that have been stored since the Puerto raids in 2006. Since then, former world cycling champion Oscar Freire plus track and field athletes Rosa Morató, Pablo Villalobos, and Alvaro Rodríguez have publicly signed on to the effort.
According to a report in El Pais, the identity of the dopers behind 20 of the blood bags remain unknown. Most of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes clients were identified by confessions, judicial pressure, or confirmation from Fuentes.
Regardless of the petition, Spain's anti-doping agency plans to appeal the judge's ruling and WADA has stated they may also join the appeal. The judge's ruling has come under fire within the cycling community and Spanish sporting world as officials fear the decision may hamper the country's efforts to secure the 2020 Summer Olympics.