Spanish Athletics Doping Scandal: A Bag Of Blood from Operation Puerto in 2006 Was Linked to Marta Dominguez and Helped Kick Off This Probe
Translated by Stewart Atkins for LetsRun.com
December 15, 2010
After analyzing documents seized from Eufemiano Fuentes during Operation Puerto’s 2006 federal police raid, it has been determined that one of the recovered bags of blood (from 2006) belonged to (Marta) Domínguez.
Carlos Arribas- Sevilla- December 15, 2010
One of the key reasons that Judge Mercedes Pérez Barrios authorized the Federal Police to tap Domínguez’s phone lines and closely investigate her was the fact that one of the many bags of blood seized during Operation Puerto (previously not attributed to anyone) belonged from the star runner.
Agents working for the Central Operation Agency (UCO in Spanish) that were responsible for Operation Galgo arrived at this conclusion after thoroughly analyzing the documentation seized from Eufemiano Fuentes during the raids of 2006. In one of the documents, in which athletes were identified by a code that corresponded to their individual doping plan, the cell phone number of Marta Domínguez was found. Attached to that document, with the same number labeled, was a bag of blood, which the investigators have attributed to Domínguez.
Judge Pérez Barrios, of Madrid’s 24th Circuit Court, has been behind Operation Galgo thus far and will return to work in the coming days after being out sick this week, which is the reason Domínguez has not yet been called in to testify. When she does, she will likely go to Madrid and not deliver a statement via video conference from the Court in Palencia, as was initially planned given the athlete’s current state of health with her pregnancy. The other seven people charged with being involved in this case (Eufemiano Fuentes, Manuel Pascua, César Pérez, Alberto León, José Alonso Valero, María José Martínez, and Alberto García) all gave statements in court to the interim judge at Plaza de Castilla (in Madrid).
The fact that a bag of blood found during Operation Puerto, the investigation from May of 2006 that was centered mainly on cyclists, has since been attributed to Domínguez (who in August of that same year won the 5000 meters at the European Championships), raises serious questions about whether or not she has used banned substances in the past. In the interview that came out in EFE on Monday, Domínguez completely denied being a “supplier” of doping agents to other athletes and said that the Federal Police had not found any doping products at her house last Thursday. However, at no time did she deny that she herself had ever doped.
News that Eufemiano Fuentes was Domínguez’s current doctor was confirmed recently by Mariano Díez, the ex coach of the “greyhound girl”, the nickname he’s adopted for her this week and uses to distance his track club from the scandal. When, before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Domínguez left him to go train with César Pérez, the wounded Díez said to his friends, “She’s left me for that guy from the Canary Islands! She’s left me for that guy from the Canary Island!”
According to what Díez has said before, Domínguez told him years ago that she’s known Fuentes since at least 2003. “When Operation Puerto blew up in 2006 and I asked her if she was afraid, and whether or not she could be implicated, she told me, “Relax, Mariano. Nothing’s going to happen to me,” Díez told the radio program El Larguero last week.
Eufemiano Fuentes, who, in addition to his involvement in Operation Galgo, is still in the middle of legal proceedings for his role in Operation Puerto. Just this Monday he reported to work at his office in the Canary Islands. He returned home Sunday night after being gone since Thursday, when he was arrested on an airplane. A few hours earlier he had been questioned and his apartment in Las Palmas (Canary Islands) had been searched.
Meanwhile, the Federal Police is still awaiting the laboratory results of the substances found in the fifteen homes raided last Thursday.
Alemayehu asked to leave Blume
Alemayehu Bezabeh, the only athlete who has admitted to the Spanish Federation any sort of involvement in Operation Galgo, left the Blume Residence yesterday. Blume is the sports center right outside of Madrid where many of Spain’s most elite athletes live. He was accompanied by his wife, who is eight months pregnant, and who just arrived in Spain last week from Addis Ababa. He was also accompanied by the Official Sports Authority.
Bezabeth, who is originally from Ethiopia, received Spanish citizenship in July of 2008. He will now live in a rented apartment in Vallecas, which is less expensive than the place on Valladolid Avenue that had been arranged for him by Manuel Pascua.
The athlete, whom Federal Police surprised when (with Pascua and Alberto León) he was just about to inject a bag of blood in to himself, hopes to not receive a suspension for doping. The 2009 European Cross Country Champion, Bezabeh maintains that he has never actually doped before, and that he had had blood extracted in the middle of November by “Dr. León” (which is what he calls Alberto León, who is not a doctor) thinking that it was for a blood test and that he never actually re-injected it into himself. Supporting his innocence is the fact that in the last month alone he’s been tested four separate times, (even once when he was home in Ethiopia). He claims these tests will prove that he is clean.
Meanwhile, the rest of the athletes coached by Pascua, who is currently suspended, are looking for a new coach. Most of the middle distance runners, which form the majority of Pascua’s group, are leaning towards Antonio Páez, the old school international coach who has often worked with Pascua in the past. The sprinters are hoping for the quick return of their coach (and Pascua’s wife) María José Martínez, who was also arrested last Thursday. The Federation has final approval of any coaching choice made.
More Spanish Doping Translations: Marta Domínguez: "I've Never Dealt Drugs."
*Last Year's European XC Champ Alemayehu Bezabeh Admitted He Was Just About To Transfuse A Bag Of Blood Bezabah apparently thought there was nothing wrong with it and for some reason we believe he's telling the truth. "He told me that he was just about to tap the bag, and when I told him that this was doping and that he couldn't be on the team, he was shocked."
*Jesus España: "It was a well-known secret"
*"It's very easy to walk into a doctor's office with 7,000 bucks in your pocket (5,000 euros) and tell the doctor that 'the time has come to reach my full potential. Do anything you have to do, here are my veins. Just make me into a champion.' I could have done that."
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