Spanish Courts Initiate Criminal Doping Investigation Of Armstrong’s US Postal Team
After the Operacion Puerto verdict in the doping case of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes was announced earlier this week, the Spanish courts were confirmed to have opened a criminal investigation into doping which is following up on the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) investigation and 2012 report detailing the doping of Lance Armstrong and his teammates.
According to The Guardian, a magistrate in Spain’s Alicante province, initiated a criminal investigation. Some of the happenings in USADA’s report occurred in Alicante, where Lance Armstrong’s US Postal team sometimes trained in 2001.
Ana Mu head of the national anti doping agency in Spain, told The Guardian, “Both the investigating magistrate and a prosecutor agree with the agency that there is evidence that a crime may have been committed.”
The investigation came about after the Spanish anti doping agency shared details of the USADA report with Spain’s attorney general, who in turn passed them onto prosecutors in Alicante and other provinces.
USADA’s report named Spanish doctors Luis Garc del Moral and Pedro Celaya as well as coach Jos “Pepe” Mart as involved in the doping scandal. In addition, Dr. Michele Ferrari was identified as present in Alicante at a team camp.
Garc del Moral and Mart are not from Alicante, but come from a nearby province and it is uncertain whether they are under investigation. The team also trained in Girona, but there is no word on whether courts there are also investigating.
Because doping was not prohibited by Spanish law at the times of the incidents detailed in USADA’s report, those under investigation would only potentially face charges for public health crimes.
Okay so Spain couldn’t use Puerto as an anti doping case, all they could so was charge with “using practices endagering public health”. Now they realize how much they have lost face in the world of sports they are trying to regain standings by going after a crime that they don’t have to investigate because someone has already done it for them. I know they are broke but this is just shameful.
The only thing that could be good out of this is that the riders who came forward only because they could reduce their own penalty may get a proper sentence. (Doub mulberry sale t it though as doping wasn’t illegal in Spain back then)
The crime they are investigating is trafficking, and not using (doping). But that still dosn’t matter when the judge in OP makes such a shameful and disgraceful decision as the one that was made. I need not list the names of their quilty cyclists, for there are too many. It’s such a shame for the likes of Oscar Freire and JA Flecha, whom i’d like to think are not part of that cheating spanish institution. i feel for them.
Spain, get your house in order!
Not LOL at all. The above mob dumping on Spain is deplorable, but has become comon practice among many X Lance fans or false patriotic zealists or whatever it is that makes one need focus blame. No one seems to remember the US federal USPS investigation being dropped for no reason. What was that? And the USADA had to basically fight their own countries cycling community as well as the UCI before finally presenting their case. Does that show a country with their “house in order”? What about Cycling Irelands decision to endorse McQuaid only last month. Its true the Puerto case is a shambles, but it is not remotely alone. With the smallest bit of perspective, it is clear that no one country is innocent of corruption, nor is any one country guilty. That same mulberry sale perspective will also show that doping is an international practice exclusive to no one country.
The saddest part of the Puerto case is that for us cycling fans the majority of the media focus ha mulberry sale s been on doping in cycling. Not to mention at least one certain popular Spanish tennis player. The Spanish justice system is not just trying to protect thier own. They are trying to protect a billion dollar sporting world from scandals way beyond the world of cycling.
I’m not a believer in this popular (and interesting) conspiracy theory. There’s precious little circumstantial evidence or ‘smoke’ for the fire. I know Fuentes said it, but how much do we believe of what he said? The odd individual would not surprise me at all, but organised and professional Festina/ONCE/Postal style doping I’d be really shocked.
Cycling has a long history of doping, of people regularly getting popped by the (not very good) drug tests, of occasional scandals and riders ‘spitting in the soup’. Football and tennis not so much (and look at the relative size of these sports!) I know they do less rigorous testing but they seem to catch far more recreational drugs than PEDs.
This is not a conspiracy theory! Firstly, the absence of positive tests doesn’t prove the sport is clean recent history proves how the tests can be manipulated and beaten. Secondly, I think you need to look at the long history of systematic doping across Russian, East German, Chinese olympics programs, and any other high performance sport for that matter. Those programs/practices spread into many other sports. Many of the coaches from those countries found themselves in direct leadership and director roles in national sporting federations.
Sports such as football have so much more investment, influences from gambling, cartels operating, etc I have little doubt there are some seriously illegal practices occurring there not just doping. All these practices weren’t invented by cycling for god’s sake.
I’m all too aware of olympic programme doping, which continues most noticeably in athletics.
There are scandals in football, sure, including lots of match fixing. But if there was organised doping I would expect a lot more Paul Kimmage/Willy Voet/Simeone type exposees and rumours. I’d also expect the few tests there are to catch out lazy/incompetent individuals on a regular basis as was happening in cycling all along outside of the big scandals. As it is, I only ever hear this line of argument from cycling fans who want to believe that other sports are just as bad.
To take another example: US sports like baseball and football. To neutral observers, these have been very obviously dirty for a long time. They have positions where brute strength is a key factor in performance. There were plenty of rumours and admissions flying around about drug use. And sure enough, they added some extremely trivial testing to baseball, and started popping cheats left, right, and centre.
NB with all sports I’m sure there is the odd cheat looking to take a shortcut I’m talking about professional, organised doping.
B16B, When OP broke news, for at least the first 6 month it was widely reported that there were almost 60 cyclists caught up with over 200 names in the records siezed. this was quoted in official press releases fro the civil guard at the time. since those initial statements the whole case has dwindled down to be involving the only large dollar sport that mulberry sale isn’t self regulating. Your comment on Football and tennis doing less testing and catching recreational rather than PEDs is because the recreational use is caught on phone camera rather than controled testing. I can’t think of anyone being caught on an iPhone camera doing EPO. Down under the football comentators even openly talk about players having Cortizone injections at half time to come out on the field in the second half.
Yes agreed. Don’t get me wrong, Spanish cycling seems to have done some pretty bad things in defence of its domestic riders, but this investigation (and court case, and law changes) has been far more useful than anything coming out of most other countries. It has taken years to get here but this is not a bad result.
In the US, as well as the case being dropped, and some pretty one eyed defense of certain riders in the face of overwhelming evidence, you also had the top riders using the legal system as a weapon against the truth (and mostly winning) by suing anyone and everyone for libel.
I’d like to know the full list of riders implicated as much as anyone, but I’m not sure we can expect that as it would probably be illegal under the law of the time. I think we know (or can guess) many of the (allegedly 35) names anyway.
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