Fuentes and four other defendants appeared in a Madrid court for the first time on January 28, nearly seven years after police seized anabolic steroids, transfusion equipment and blood bags as part of the "Operation Puerto" probe.
"The Operation Puerto case is the most significant public criminal trial that will address doping issues, which previously were largely handled by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] arbitrations," said Maurice M. Suh, a former prosecutor and partner with Gibson Dunn's White Collar Defense and Investigations practice.
"Both the breadth of the allegations, and the implications for athletes in other sports besides cycling, signal a significant change in the way doping matters may be handled in the criminal justice systems of various countries," he added.
The defendants in the case have been accused of violating public health regulations and could face prison sentences of two years.
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