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Beyond the Baseline

Rafael Nadal: Operation Puerto ruling casts cloud over Spanish athletes

Rafael Nadal is currently trying to win the Madrid Open, which he has won once since the tournament moved from indoor hard courts to clay in 2009. Rafael Nadal is currently trying to win the Madrid Open, which he has won once since the tournament moved from indoor hard courts to clay in 2009. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal weighed in on the the Spanish court's decision to destroy over 200 bags of blood samples seized in the Operation Puerto doping case as "a big mistake." Speaking to reporters in Madrid, Nadal said the the decision casts a dark cloud over Spanish athletes in particular.

"I am not one to judge others in this case," Nadal said. "A decision was made and the only thing I can give is my opinion. And my opinion is the resolution is not positive for anyone."

"The only ones who have benefited from this resolution are those who have cheated and it seems unfair that in a case as serious and as damaging to sport as this we're talking about Spain. The most affected are Spanish athletes and Spanish sports. I personally find it unfair to not give the names of the persons who have cheated, whether they are Spanish or not."

Andy Murray calls Operation Puerto ruling "biggest cover-up in sports history"

A Madrid court found Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes guilty of endangering public health and sentenced him to one-year suspended sentence. On Tuesday, a judge cited Spain's privacy laws to support her decision not to turn over the seized blood bags to anti-doping authorities and ordered them be destroyed. If upheld, the decision prevents anti-doping authorities from testing the samples to identify more athletes.

"To not give names looks like a big mistake to me," Nadal said. "Those who cheated deserve the contempt from all other athletes, who should make them feel ashamed before society."

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