The Cure For Mischievous Memory Loss: A Good Lawyer

Denis Doyle

On Football Weekly this week, Sid Lowe commented that Dr Fuentes, at the centre of a doping trial and charged with endangering public health, was an exhibitionist, flirting with the media and adoring the attention he was getting from them. That addiction for the lime-light has him back-tracking after mischievously and falsely implying that Real Madrid owe him money.

One can only imagine what Eufemiano Fuentes, the defendant at the centre of Operation Puerto, was thinking when he said, on a radio station this week, that Real Madrid owed him money. He claimed he couldn't remember the details, precisely. That has since turned out to be entirely false. He did mention he "couldn't say" if it had to do with doping.

Faced with a lawsuit, his memory has miraculously cleared up and his own lawyer, José Miguel Lledó, has been backtracking desperately to avoid seeing his client in court (again). Specifically:

He has never treated any player or employee of Real Madrid. The debt that Real Madrid has outstanding with him, and we are not talking about a large quantity of money, is for travel expenses from the legal proceedings the club had brought against the French newspaper Le Monde.

To reiterate: Fuentes appeared for Madrid as a witness in an unrelated case against Le Monde, the French newspaper. Not only has he never been employed by the club, he was called as a witness specifically to confirm he had never been affiliated with the club. He wanted to be reimbursed for his expenses, including accommodation and eating. He was unable, however, to produce any receipts so the club declined to pay up.

It is unusual to forget the reasons why one is owed a debt. Doubtless Dr Fuentes is relieved to find that his memory has miraculously cleared up.

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