Ruling In 'Operation Puerto' Doping Scandal Could Hurt Madrid's 2020 Olympic Bid
Spain’s image "has taken a major blow, but now the question is whether the controversial court ruling on the doping scandal known as 'Operation Puerto' will have a direct effect on the Madrid 2020 Olympic bid," according to Ignacio Naya of BUSINESS DAY LIVE. Welsh road cycling 2008 Beijing Gold Medalist Nicole Cooke "was particularly hard this weekend," as she asked members of the IOC "not to vote for Madrid when they choose the host of the 2020 Games in September." Cooke said, "We now need our representatives to send the most clear message to the Spanish authorities." Britain "has four votes out of the 95 that are set to choose between Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo as the host of the 2020 Games." The race "is approaching the home stretch, and any detail can affect the choice in an election that many assume will be the closest in recent years." The ruling on Operation Puerto "has generated negative reactions since it was issued early last week." What prompted the greatest outrage in Spain and beyond, particularly among sports people, "was the judge’s decision to destroy the more than 200 bags of blood that were seized from the doctor" in '06. This "would not be the first time doping seriously affects a Madrid Olympic bid:" in '09, the World Anti-Doping Agency Dir General David Howman spoke of Spain’s antidoping laws as "not wise" and hitting hard at Madrid’s '16 hopes. This time around it is not the Spanish government’s fault, but doping "is again a pebble in the shoe of Madrid’s Olympic dream" (BUSINESS DAY LIVE, 5/8).