Lissavetzky satisfied with Spanish anti-doping fight

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Jaime Lissavetzky, the Secretary for Sport in Spain said he was "satisfied by the brilliant work done by the Spanish Civil Guard" when asked in Avila about Operación Puerto, but he added, "We will have to wait," to see how the affair is ultimately solved in court.

Operación Puerto, was part of a crucial position of "zero tolerance against doping" according to Lissavetzky who pointed to legislation about protecting the health of riders being applied to anti-doping in sport. He said the new legislation has two objectives which reflect less tolerance for doping: to protect the professional athletes as well as to the beginning athletes and to fight against doping.

"In Spain we are leading the fight against doping," said Lissavetzky. The position is reinforced by the fact that Spain is hosting the Third World Conference Against Doping in less than one month. The conference is held every four years and will convene in Madrid with "some 2,500 or 3,000" attendees.

Lissavetzky concluded that Operación Puerto was "an operation authorized by a judge who serves as the Judicial Police Civil Guard" and called it a success resulting from serious, rigorous work to fight doping. "The Supreme Council of Sports has not had anything to do with it."

Commenting on the judicial process, Lissavetzky explained that the judge who authorized the Operación Puerto had discontinued the affair based on the uncertainty of whether or not there was a crime against public health; the current law was not yet developed and the criminal code did not include a doping offense. Appeals have been made by the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency to re-open the affair.

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