Spanish football elite deny drugs scandal links
8 December 2006
MADRID — Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Real Betis football teams denied on Friday reports linking them to a drugs scandal.
The French daily Le Monde reported the clubs hired a doctor who is a principle suspect in an alleged doping ring which Spanish police began investigating last May.
The French newspaper said it had gained access to a series of seized confidential memos written by Eufemiano Fuentes, who was arrested in the undercover Operation Puerto for allegedly helping cyclists enhance their performance through illegal substances and blood transfusions.
The memos allegedly spell out plans by the sports medic to prepare Spanish league soccer players for the 2005 season.
They also claim to reveal a proposal for treatment which would help Barcelona FC win the Champions League.
But all clubs strongly deny any connections with the doctor.
A Real Madrid spokesman said: “We have never seen his face in real life. We would be idiots to do something which is not only illegal but jeopardizes what it has cost us to get where we are in sports over the past three to four years.”
The teams threatened to sue the paper if the story is not retracted.
Le Monde said the documents were seized by the Civil Guard during a raid at Fuentes’ home, but had been removed from the police agency’s file.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news