Fuentes was also banned from practising as a sports doctor for four years, but his sister Yolanda and two former cycling team managers – Vicente Belda and Manuel Saiz – were cleared.
Hopes that the real names of the bag owners would be revealed were dashed when the judge ruled that they could not now be turned over to anti-doping authorities to do DNA tests.
A junior coach at one team, José Ignacio Labarta of Comunidad Valenciana, was given a four-month sentence for helping Fuentes.
The sentence comes more than seven years after police raided his Madrid laboratories and found dozens of bags of refrigerated and frozen blood marked with codenames.
Many of the bags belonged to cyclists who had left blood with Fuentes so that they could be re-infused with it during races in order to improve their performance. Other bags were thought to belong to athletes and football players.
Among the cyclists who admitted using Fuentes’s services was the Olympic-medal winner Tyler Hamilton, who told of meetings with Fuentes in hotel rooms and of feeling sick after retransfusions.
“From at least 2002, he had been practising blood extractions, generally of 450mg each, sometimes with two bags of the same amount, to certain sports athletes, especially cyclists, for retransfusion later on, with the exclusive aim of artificially improving their physical performance,” the judgment said.
The aim, according to the judgment, was to increase the red blood cell count. Fuentes also supplied cyclists with banned substances, including EPO, testosterone, insulin, and hormones.
“Fuentes carried out this activity by planning a system of extractions and re-transfusions and coordinating it with their physical preparations and the competition calendar with the double aim of optimizing results and avoiding detection at anti-doping controls,” the court said.
The judge said Fuentes had put the cyclists’ health at risk, increasing their chances of suffering thrombosis, heart attacks, nausea and vomiting as well as possible damage to their kidneys and brain.
The clandestine operation, with its use of codenames to identify blood bags, also ran the risk of mixing up samples and giving them the wrong blood.
“Extractions and retransfusions were not always carried out in authorised centres, but, on