In a shocking revelation at the Operacion Puerto trial, investigators now claim that Doctor Eufemianio Fuentes and the infamous Italian Dr. Ferrari are the same person.
“It took us a long time to establish the connection but there is little doubt. Fuentes and Ferrari are one and the same,” said Spanish prosecutor Miguel Navarro. “We have cracked the mystery and there are not two evil men, just one.”
Close examination of computer files and the cooperation of Benedetto Roberti, the Italian anti-doping crusader in Padua, have lead investigators to a surprising discovery.
“Fuentes gave all the riders a code name — Basso, Valverde, Hamilton — but he also gave himself a code, too — Naranja.” said Navarro. The word for “orange” in Spanish, it was also a sly reference to the famous claim made by Ferrari that EPO was no more dangerous than orange juice.
The double identity explains in large part why it was so difficult to build Fuentes/Ferrari to justice. “You can never find him. When you look in Italy he is Fuentes in Spain and when you try to arrest him in Spain he is Ferrari back in Italy,” said Roberti. “He is a master criminal, a dark genius.”
The pieces of the story became to fall into place last month. “Why have they both worked with riders in the Canary Island — why, always the Canary Islands?” asks Roberti. I will tell you why — because they are the same person.”
Investigators also noticed that Fuentes and Ferrari both have daughters. “It is a complicated game, multiple identities, multiple residences, multiple daughters,” said Navarro. “To simplify, the daughter also took on a double role. When she returned to Italy she drops her Spanish name and becomes Sara.”
A raid on Ferrari Italian resident uncovered an impressive array of theatrical supplies including makeup, wigs and men’s clothing with Spanish labels. A court ordered examination of Fuentes’ closet also turned up a similar items.
The Italian Olympic Committee has already issued a strong reaction in a press conference in Rome. “If he is really both Ferrari and Fuentes, then the penalties for working with him must be doubled,” said Aldo Luccatoni, a spokesman for CONI.
While the news may be stunning, the ultimate mystery has yet to be solved. Who is the real doping doctor and who is the fake? “We are trying to get a DNA sample but right now we cannot be sure — do we have Ferrari or Fuentes?” said Navarro.