Barcelona win doping case against Le Monde
Catalan giants Barcelona have won their legal battle against Le Monde.15 January 2008
BARCELONA - Catalan giants Barcelona have won their legal battle against Le Monde with the French newspaper ordered by a Spanish court to pay EUR 300,000 in damages to the Primera Liga football club.
Le Monde was unable to back up allegations in an article published in December 2006 that Barcelona employed the services of Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of Operacion Puerto doping case, and used performance enhancing substances on their players.
The newspaper also mentioned other Spanish clubs Real Madrid, Valencia and Betis Sevilla had an association with Fuentes, who was arrested in May 2006 on suspicion of administering banned doping products to athletes, including several top cyclists.
In its judgment the court said that Le Monde and the journalist responsible for the article, Stephane Mandard, had failed to prove the allegations and that Barcelona had been libelled.
Barcelona have constantly denied there was any substance to the claims and have demanded that the paper print a retraction.
Le Monde can still appeal against the verdict.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news