Spain talks tough on drugs after cyclist fails test
Monday 11 August 2008
Spanish authorities have pledged to hunt down and even imprison doping offenders after cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno became the first competitor at the Beijing Olympics to fail a drugs test.
Moreno, better known as Maribel Moreno, was tested for drugs on the day she arrived in Beijing on July 31 and the results showed she had used the endurance-boosting EPO drug, the International Olympic Committee said.
"We are going to hunt down these shameless people who harm our athletes. We are going to clamp down totally and will take the toughest action," Spanish Sports Minister Jaime Lissavetzky told reporters.
Moreno was tested just hours after her arrival and returned to Spain the same evening, leaving Beijing in tears and citing an anxiety attack, Spanish team officials said.
"She was quite different after being tested," Eugenio Bermudez, Secretary General of the Spanish Cycling Federation, said. "She was crying all the time and she insisted she wanted to go home."
Moreno, 27, has been stripped of her Games accreditation and the matter has been referred to the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Lissavetzky said an investigation would be launched to identify how Moreno, who was tested three times in less than two months and six times in the past six months, got hold of the drugs.
"I ask you Maribel, looking you in the eyes, 'who gave you the substance and where did you buy it?'" Lissavetzky said.
Two Spanish riders tested positive for EPO during this year's Tour de France, cycling's premier event, last month.
Spain launched "Operation Puerto" in 2006 after raids uncovered large quantities of anabolic steroids, laboratory equipment used for blood transfusions and more than 200 bags of code-named blood, some of which were linked to leading cyclists.
FA Cup: Arsenal v Everton match preview
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United: Is Wayne Rooney really in Robin van Persie’s way at United?
Robin van Persie: Manchester United manager David Moyes a 'little bit surprised' after striker plays 90 minutes for Netherlands day after being sick
Chelsea v Tottenham: Tim Sherwood claims the pressure is off as Spurs look to end dreadful record at Stamford Bridge
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast