The president of the French Cycling Federation (FFC) has branded the Operation Puerto trial "a true farce" and believes that the Spanish authorities have been trying to protect the reputation of sportsmen during the case.
"Who are they protecting?" asked David Lappartient while speaking at a press conference at the headquarters of the FFC on the outskirts of Paris.
He added: "One of the defendants was ready to give names [of athletes who had doped] but he was never asked to do so. It's a true farce, there is no other word to describe it. Why bother having a trial?"
Lappartient said he "had a feeling that Spanish authorities are trying to protect footballers and tennis players" and thought that the trial "demonstrated that cyclists are not the only ones involved".
And the Frenchman called for an international anti-doping agency to continue the investigation.
"Without a doubt there has been a high level of protection from the state," he said.
"I hope the blood bags can be transferred to the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) so that we can establish what really happened."