2009 European XC Champ Alemayehu Bezabeh May Have Been Duped By His Coach Into Blood Doping, and Possible Get Off Because He Didn't Reinject Blood

Translated by Stewart Atkins for LetsRun.com
December 18, 2010

Editor's note: LetsRun.com reader Stewart Atkins has been translating some articles for us on the track and field doping scandal in Spain.  Below is the translation of this article from Marca.com


Bezabeh Trusts in Facts of Case and Believes he was duped by Manuel Pascua

Headline: “Given that he didn't actually reinject the blood like they had planned and given that it definitely appears he was lied to, it's likely Bezabeh won't suffer any consequences,” a source claims.

EFE, Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alemayehu Bezabeh, who was recently left off the cross country team by the Spanish Federation because of a possible anti-doping violation, is confident that the case will be dismissed as he believes he was deceived by his coach, Manuel Pascua, one of the alleged suspects in Operation Greyhound.

The Ethiopian-born athlete was not allowed to be on Spanish squad that competed in the European Cross Country Championship in Albufeira, Portugal last Sunday, and thus did not get a chance to defend his title. That decision was made after Bezabeh reported an incident that happened on the morning of December 9 when he, along with Pascua, were getting ready to go to El Escorial with a bag of Bezabeh's blood.

“He has a good chance of getting the case dismissed because there's evidence that he was duped. They took out a small bag of blood and told him that it was because he had jaundice. That morning they told him they would be going to the doctor, but the Federal Police got there in time and as a result he didn't actually do anything wrong,” claimed sources close to the athlete.

The Federal Police intervened when the distance runner was with Pascua and the former mountain biker, Alberto Leon. “The police told him: 'You (Bezabeh) are going to talk to the police chief, and these two are going to prison.' They had lied to him, and he can use that as a defense. The fact that the police arrived, and that they knew what was going on, actually saved him from doing anything wrong.”

Pending a decision by the Spanish Federation's Competition Committee, Bezabeh is still technically allowed to compete. However, his closest advisers have recommended that he be cautious and wait. “Fortunately, he has enough money to be able to survive for the next three or four years, and in the next two months he's going to have a child.”

Bezabeh has a Category E grant from ADO, which pays him 12,000 Euros a year (about $16,000).  This is separate from any winnings he receives from races. “Given that he actually didn't reinject the blood like they had planned and given that it definitely appears he was lied to, it's likely Bezabeh won't suffer any consequences. They had told that they were going to the doctor to have his blood tested,” the same sources claimed.

According to Jose Maria Odriozola, President of the Spanish Federation of Track and Field, on the evening of Thursday, December 9, Bezabeth went to the Federation's office along with his agent to report what had happened. That was when the Federation removed him from the cross country team on the basis that it was possible that he had committed a doping violation. “He reported the facts and identified who was responsible. He didn't actually commit a crime, and he was clearly manipulated. There are certainly many reasons to think that Bezabeh will be exonerated,” the sources explained.

The Spanish 5000 meter record holder had planned to defend his European Cross Country title in Albuefeira. He had then planned on doing a few races in Spain to get ready for the World Cross Country Championships, which will take place in Punta Umbria, Spain, on March 20, 2011.

Bezabeh, who was at the Blume Residence for three days, left the Residence as was expected and moved into a rented apartment with his wife on Valadolid Avenue, near the Federation. However, he has since decided to move into a cheaper apartment.

More Spanish Doping Translations:
Previous: A Bag Of Blood From Operation Puerto In 2006 Was Linked To Marta Dominguez And Helped Kick Off This Probe 
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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