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Spanish anti-doping law takes effect

By Hernan Alvarez

Since Friday, February 23, 2007, doping practices are considered crimes all over Spanish territory as the ley antidopaje, the new anti-doping law voted for in Spring, has been put to practise. From now on, the persons who encourage the use of doping substances or deal with them in any sports discipline will be punished with prison sentences.

"The one who encourages or supplies doping (substances) can end up in jail," said Spanish State Sporting secretary Jaime Lissavetzky to Madrid's newspaper As. He stated that this procedure had the objective of defending the athletes, whilst at the same time assuring that no sportsman will be incarcerated because of doping. "The law goes against the ones who earn money with doping," explained Lissavetzky.

Referring to the now notoriously famous Operación Puerto and a productive end of this affair, the state man commented: "There are few things I can say about this. I just hope that justice goes on its way and that it goes fast, if possible, in order not to harm the athletes."

The mentioned law was published three months ago in the Spanish official State bulletin and established jail charges from six months to two years long to non-athletes involved in doping affaires. The law also assigns sporting punishments and fines for sportsmen who break the rules.