Operacion Puerto came to a rather dull close on Tuesday in Spain with the judge ruling on the case dishing out suspended sentences to several of the key defendants, including disgraced Doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes, closing a case that has run nearly eight years.
But it was the ruling of the court to destroy evidence related to the case, including a store of blood bags recovered on Fuentes' clinic in 2006, and computer files that has created the most uproar from those that have followed the long-running episode.
The decision, which is still subject to appeal, would mean that anti-doping authorities would not get the chance to conduct their own separate investigations into riders, doctors and staff implicated by the investigation.
The remit of the investigation by the Spanish Courts focused on the threat to public health, this wasn't a doping investigation, and as such there was no reason for the Court to release evidence.
Nonetheless, there was no shortage of criticism from media personalities out there, enraged at what they felt was an opportunity missed, leaving too many question still unanswered.
Velonews's Matthew Beaudin argued the decision was testament to the political sway of tennis and football, which were both heavily implicated in the case, but the details of which were never released.
Painfully obvious now how little pull (money) cycling has when compared with soccer and tennis. Surreal that we won't know more about Puerto— Matthew Beaudin (@matthewcbeaudin) April 30, 2013
There was criticism of the Spanish justice system as a whole.
By destroying the blood bags, the Spanish are just fuelling conspiracy theories. Shows how far behind the curve Spain really is....— Jeremy Whittle (@jeremycwhittle) April 30, 2013
Well done Spain. No footballers. No lifetime. No blood bags. No morals. Morally and financially bankrupt.— stuart randall (@SJR1978) April 30, 2013
Right, that's it. Spain is not only actually bankrupt. It's also ethically bankrupt. That's why we'll never give your cousins the Falklands.— Ned Boulting (@nedboulting) April 30, 2013
Other were just left disappointed.
Anyone who was in Strasbourg in 06 and saw the destruction caused by Fuentes' blood-doping will be dismayed by today's Puerto verdict.— Lionel Birnie (@lionelbirnie) April 30, 2013
So much for 'exemplary verdict'.— Daniel Friebe (@friebos) April 30, 2013
Interestingly there was a vacuum of athletes making comment on the case with the exception of Scot Andy Murray.
operacion puerto case is beyond a joke... biggest cover up in sports history? why would court order blood bags to be destroyed? #coverup— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) April 30, 2013