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Spain anti-doping agency hits back after malpractice claims


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Spain’s anti-doping agency (CELAD) rejected accusations of malpractice and said criticism was “biased conjecture” in a statement on Wednesday.

The Spanish government’s leading sports authority (CSD) last week demanded the head of CELAD, Jose Luis Terreros, stepped down because of the “reputational damage” Spanish sport and the agency had suffered in recent weeks.

The CSD passed on a report on the agency to Spanish prosecutors after an investigation into a complaint alleging “irregularities in the use of public funds and in the control and sanctioning of doping”.

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

“All these news items are untrue and are merely interested and biased conjectures as a result of sensationalist interpretations that are far removed from the regulations in force and from the right of every athlete,” said CELAD in a statement.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also criticised CELAD and said they were holding a comprehensive investigation, while threatening “significant consequences for Spanish sport” if doping cases are not dealt with appropriately.

The Spanish agency said they were “not aware” that WADA had opened any investigation.

“CELAD has always worked in defence of clean sport with full transparency, respecting national and international regulations, maintaining honest communication with the World Anti-Doping Agency at all time,” continued the statement.

Terreros told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Wednesday he would step down, but at his own pace.

“Of course I will leave, and I will leave with joy, but I will leave when I decide, when everyone has heard me,” he said.

“I’m going to leave because how can I continue with people who treat me like this… I don’t want anyone to think that I’m leaving because of all this false information.”

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