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Operacion Puerto investigator takes control of Spain’s Anti-Doping Agency


Anti-doping (Image credit: AFP Photo)

Enrique Gómez Bastida has been named as the new director of Spain’s Anti-Doping Agency, AEPSAD. He is the third head of AEPSAD in the last four months.

The latest switch of director comes about after the previous incumbent, Manuel Quintanar, who had taken over in September, has been named as head of a anti-corruption unit investigating Spanish football.

An officer in Spain’s semi-militarized police force, the Guardia Civil, Gómez Bastida, 36, was heavily involved in the investigations sparked off the Operación Puerto anti-doping probe in 2006 - the case which is still dragging its way through the Spanish courts. Prior to this promotion - and appearing in court last February for the prosecution when the initial Operación Puerto trial took place in Madrid - Gomez Bastida first worked for a Spanish police unit specializing in international judicial cases, the UTPJ, and then joined AEPSAD, the anti-doping agency, last May as their intelligence and investigation officer.

First created in 2008, AEPSAD was granted wider powers in legislation passed last year as part of Spain’s efforts to dispel a perception it is soft on doping - believed to be one reason why Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games failed spectacularly last September. Since 2008, AEPSAD has had four different directors.

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.