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.”
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