Athletics: Claims over a doping network 'are crazy', says Hermens
Thursday 23 November 2006
Jos Hermens, the agent whose clients include Ethiopia's Olympic 10,000 metres champions, Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, has denied sending some of his athletes to a Spanish doctor for doping.
The German athletics federation filed a criminal complaint against Hermens on Monday after his name surfaced in the court documents of the former East German coach Thomas Springstein, who was convicted in March of giving a banned substance to minors he had been coaching.
Hermens is the former manager of two German athletes who Springstein coached - former 800m Olympic champion Nils Schumann and former world 400m relay champion Grit Breuer.
"I still don't know what they are blaming me for. It's only a cheap publicity stunt," Hermens said. "I'm sure it won't come to a court case. I have done nothing wrong." He said his name surfaced in e-mails sent from Springstein to the Spanish doctor, Miguel Angel Peraita. The German athletics federation has also filed a criminal complaint against the doctor, accusing both of trafficking in banned substances.
Later, the Dutch agent told the German daily Der Taggespiegel that he sent Schumann, Breuer and German high jumper Awemu Mensah - who served a doping suspension - to Peraita. Hermens insisted: "I've been involved with at least 500 athletes. But it's crazy to say I'm involved in a doping network. If someone commits murder it does not mean I'm a murderer."
Peraita, according to Spanish media reports, shares or shared an office in Madrid with Jose Merino Batres, one of the sports doctors under investigation in the Spanish cycling doping scandal. That scandal, one of the worst to engulf cycling, led to top stars like Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso being banned from this year's Tour de France.
Hermens said he recommended Peraita to the three German athletes because he believed some of the Spanish doctor's methods, which included homeopathy, were revolutionary.
"I was maybe a little dumb," Hermens said. "I should have asked more questions about what Peraita exactly does."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United teased by Monaco after claims they could have signed 'Luis Suarez of Neymar' instead or £58m Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United star Karel Poborsky goes full hipster
England vs San Marino, Euro 2016 qualifier: Jamie Vardy cleared to make first start for country
Manchester United hit back at Real Madrid by claiming they let David De Gea 'slip through their fingers into the back of the net'
Serie B introduces 'green cards' to promote good behaviour, fair play and sportsmanship
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...