Spain call on Anti-doping Chief to quit after malpractice accusations

Spain call on Anti-doping Chief to quit after malpractice accusations
Spain call on Anti-doping Chief to quit after malpractice accusations

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - File photo of the Spanish flag fluttering behind a red traffic light at Plaza Colon square in Madrid, Spain, January 10, 2019. - Reuters pic

BARCELONA, Jan 6 ― Spain’s leading government sports authority demanded the director of their anti-doping agency (CELAD) resigns after accusations of malpractice.

The High Council of sports said late yesterday they had passed a report on the anti-doping agency to Spanish prosecutors after an investigation into a complaint.

The complaint alleged “irregularities in the use of public funds and in the control and sanctioning of doping”.

Spanish media outlet Relevo said this week that the country’s anti-doping agency exploited bureaucratic loopholes to cover up positive cases.

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The council, led by Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes, asked for CELAD director Jose Luis Terreros to stand down because of the “reputational damage” Spanish sport and the anti-doping agency has been exposed to.

If Terreros does not quit then Uribes and the Minister of Education and Sports, Pilar Alegria, would attempt to have him removed, the council said.

Uribes reiterated “Spain’s commitment to ensure that all athletes compete on equal terms and that the purity of sport prevails” and said they would “cooperate faithfully” with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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WADA criticised Spain’s anti-doping agency on Friday and threatened potential “significant consequences for Spanish sport” if doping cases are not dealt with appropriately.

“We are well aware of deep-seated issues within Spanish anti-doping,” said WADA president Witold Banka.

“I am disappointed with the level of cooperation we have received from CELAD as we seek to improve the system for Spanish athletes.”

WADA said the matter was still under “comprehensive investigation”. ― AFP

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