Dominguez is suspended after police drug raid

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The Independent Online

World steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez was yesterday suspended from her post as a vice-president of the Spanish athletics federation (RFEA) after she was implicated in a doping investigation.

The federation published a letter sent to Dominguez by president Jose Maria Odriozola in which he informed her of the decision to provisionally suspend her after her home was raided on Thursday and she was temporarily taken into custody.

With her trademark pink headband and matching running shoes, Dominguez is one of Spain's most popular athletes and was named European Athlete of the Year in 2009.

Last month, the 35-year-old announced that she would not defend her world title in Daegu next year as she is pregnant for the first time and would shift her focus to preparing for the 2012 Olympics in London, which would be her fourth Games.

The fact that she had been released from police custody under suspicion of trafficking and distributing banned substances had badly damaged the image of Spanish athletics, Odriozola added. Luis Alberto Marco, the European indoor champion at 800 metres was quoted as saying: "I'm repulsed by my sport when things like this come out."

Authorities said on Thursday that police had taken 14 people in for questioning around the country as part of an anti-doping operation known as "Greyhound".