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Report: Spanish criminal investigation of Armstrong

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 27, 2013, 09:43,
Updated:
March 27, 2013, 09:43
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Lance Armstrong (US Postal) protected by his body guard at the 2004 Tour de France

Lance Armstrong (US Postal) protected by his body guard at the 2004 Tour de France

  • Lance Armstrong (US Postal) protected by his body guard at the 2004 Tour de France
  • Lance Armstrong in the Discovery Channel days
  • Lance Armstrong has been a huge part of George Hincapie's career

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Trafficking and distribution of doping products illegal in Spain

There is a criminal investigation of Lance Armstrong underway in Spain, according to media reports. The investigation is said to be looking into his doping-related activities in that country as reported in the USADA's reasoned decision, which was issued last October.

ABC News said that “Spanish sources believe crimes may have been committed in Spain and they are currently investigating to decide if charges should be brought against Armstrong and Spanish associates who worked with him on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team.”

The Spanish associates are believed to include former USPS team doctors Pedro Celaya and Luis Garcia del Moral and  trainer José Martí.  Garcia del Moral and Marti were given lifetime bans by the USADA when they did not challenge the charges against them. Celaya appealed the decision and hearings are pending.

The investigation is said to be underway in various areas of Spain, including Alicante, Valencia, Tenerife and Girona. Armstrong lived in Girona for several years. Floyd Landis told ABC News that during that period he babysat Armstrong's 'blood fridge' in Spain 'to make sure the temperature remained constant' when Armstrong was away.

Under Spanish law, it is not a crime for an athlete to to use doping products or methods. However, “trafficking, distribution and commercialization of doping drugs” are criminal offenses which can carry prison sentences and fines.

Interviewed on German television this week, Ana Munoz, director of the Spanish anti-doping agency,  said, "What I can tell you so far is that we are following up on the Armstrong case. Not only because we were involved in the investigation back then but also because we are really interested that every person, Spanish or not, who has committed a crime in our country be prosecuted."

The German interview, which appeared on WDR's “Sport Inside,” also discussed the trial of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. Munoz said that she would follow up on that case when the trial was finished.

“On the day the Fuentes trial ends, I will, as director of the Spanish anti-doping agency, request the judge to give me all documents, evidence and blood bags. And then we will not stop doing everything we can to punish the dopers.”

thelowerdepths More than 1 year ago
right right … good luck prosecuting … for this to go anywhere, the US will have to (if found guilty) sign extradition papers to get LA over to Spain to get locked up … so, as THAT's not going to happen, what else you got? oh yeah, Fuentes fever … catch it!
hidesert47 More than 1 year ago
Spain subscribes to the "3 D's" ... deny, deflect, distract. Do everything but deal with Spain's own fully corrupt attitudes toward doping in cycling, from from the highest levels of government on down.
reubenr More than 1 year ago
I think the point of the article was "trafficking," not using. If I remember correctly, Bruyneel had his offices in Spain, as well, at least when he was with Astana.
DrBigRing More than 1 year ago
Aren't there enough current and former Spanish cyclists for the local authorities to focus on instead of jumping on the LA beatdown?
rastymick More than 1 year ago
LA is still in big demand to get a big pie of media attention... Ho, Ho, we are going after the big fish - this doesn't work so well with less known riders. But, of course, we already know where this case will be going: NOWHERE It's all about getting some media attention - hey, we are taking the fight against doping very seriously...!
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
McQuaid will be next, in his bid for re-election he'll announce a suit against Armstrong for bringing the sport into disrepute. Face plalm!
danjo007 More than 1 year ago
chuckT and rasty. you 2 need a room! (and a life)
joesub More than 1 year ago
Spanish riders are the most corrupt of all in the peloton. As stated above, Delgado, Indurain, Heras, Valverde, Contador, Mayo and all the others. And the Spanish government has been an absolute joke as far as selectively prosecuting riders in the Operation Puerto investigation. They seem to prosecute others, but somehow leave the Spanish riders alone. Spanish authorities have no credibility and this is obviously a political ploy to garner favor with the Olympic selection committee. How long did Puerto languish? Until Spain decided it wanted the Olympics. From what we see here in the U.S., the rule of law has absolutely no meaning in Europe as a whole. They gin up charges and then get all sanctimonious while all actors are making a ton of money behind the scene. The U.S. may have its problems, but there is no doubt the U.S. at least pays more attention to the rule of law than the E.U.
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
Hmm, what happened to that prosecution of Armstrong then? Dropped in mysterious circumstances before the Presidential election. I think it's complacent to say everything's fine in the US, and an unjustified generalisation to condemn 'Europe as a whole'. Europe does not have a uniform legal system, each country has its own courts.
srsplato More than 1 year ago
This is the pot calling the kettle black. Spain has enough trouble to fix before they worry about some other country. When they get their mess cleaned up, come see us! Until then keep your hands to yourself!
la.margna More than 1 year ago
it's not April's fools day yet... what a joke... Exactly Spain, that allowed for years everybody to dope, doped their athletes for Olympics and removed all records of their holy Alberto I. from the Operacion Puerto records... gimme a break...
BadScreenWrtr More than 1 year ago
So Fuentes and Saiz meet in a cafe. One has a case filled with doping products the other a case filled with 30,000 Euros they make an exchange of products and Euros and that's not trafficking?
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
(Spain to self) "Hey self - we look pretty stupid with Puerto going on again" (Spain) "Thought so too - how are we going to divert people's attention from the case?" (Spain to self) "How about we kick Armstrong when he is down? Lots of people will want to get in on that" (Spain) "Yeah! While we are at it, let's get our Prime Minister to read our charges and proclaim him gulity as soon as we say something!!!"
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Regulars on here will know I'm not a fan........but Spain....seriously....