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Spanish federation rebuffs criticism

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The director general of the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC), José Griñán, has replied to criticism of the organisation over its efforts against doping. "We always are arranged to collaborate," with legal and anti-doping authorities, he said, but added that he was "disturbed and disappointed" with the passivity that has greeted the revelations that have arisen from the Operación Puerto investigation into doping in Spanish cycling.

In response to media criticism of the RFEC, Griñán said that, "the Spanish Federation does not have competence in judicial and civil legal matters." He added that in the case of Jesus Manzano's allegations in 2004, "We interviewed Manzano and reached the limit of our specific competence. We compiled a report for the judge who was to investigate the case."

Griñán pointed to the most high-profile recent Spanish doping case as a success. "In the case of Roberto Heras there was a positive result in competition, and he was suspended for two years."

Griñan said that he believed that there should be more out-of-competition anti-doing tests than in-competition, "because in this way they will be more effective."

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