The Government has officially and publicly requested its resignation to the current director of the Spanish Commission for the Fight Against Doping in Sports (CELAD), José Luis Terrerosafter completing an investigation by possible irregularities which is already in the hands of the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Higher Sports Council (CSD) presented on Tuesday, January 2, to the State Attorney General’s Office the result of its investigation into “alleged irregularities in the use of public funds and in the control and punishment of doping“within CELAD.
The dossier also includes several reports on Terreros’ praxis. The president of the Council, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, has asked Terreros to resign for “the reputational damage to which Spanish sport is exposed“due to his shady management, and has warned that if he does not leave office, he will be Minister of Education, Pilar Alegríawho requests his dismissal in a few weeks.
The investigation presented by the CSD, developed within the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports, arose from a complaint of alleged irregularities on the part of the CELAD upon learning of several cases of Spanish athletes who tested positive in the controls and that had been hidden without taking measures or sanctions.
Presumption of innocence
In a statement, the CSD points out that the decision “adopted with the utmost respect for the presumption of innocence”, has received “the approval of the Undersecretariat of the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports and the State Attorney’s Office” and ” responds to the commitment to provide the fight against doping of the highest standards of transparency, effectiveness, efficiency and security“.
Along with the investigation, the Higher Sports Council has also transferred to the Prosecutor’s Office “the reports sent by the director of CELAD, José Luis Terreros, on its practices.”
It will be the Prosecutor’s Office the one that dwill determine if there are indications rationale of the commission some crime. The CSD assured that it cannot “allow the slightest suspicion or doubt in relation to the fight against doping and the system that must guarantee fair play, the integrity of competitions and preserve the health of athletes.”
Rodríguez Uribes reiterates “Spain’s commitment to ensuring that all athletes compete on equal terms and that the purity of sport prevails, which involves guaranteeing strict compliance with the World Code and anti-doping regulations, so that always the strictest control measures are implemented and a sporting culture that values the ethics and integrity of all competitions is fostered.
World Anti-Doping Agency: “It is unacceptable”
The situation detected is already worrying the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), whose president, the Polish Witold Bańkahas considered “unacceptable” the “fact that there are positive cases that have not been treated in time, despite regular monitoring by” his agency.
In its letter, the international organization assures that it “takes note of the recent information that appeared in the media in relation to the accusations relating” to the Spanish CELAD for alleged irregularities.
The AMA assures that it “was aware” of “problems” with “controls and results management” in Spanish sport
“WADA is following its normal process and acting in the best interest of clean sport. All of these matters are being thoroughly investigated by WADA. If they are not addressed quickly and effectively, it is clear that will have important consequences for Spanish sport“Adds Banka on this matter, which “continues to be the subject of an exhaustive investigation.”
Having “strongly rejected the suggestion that it would ever turn a blind eye to any valid cases,” WADA “confirms that all cases have been repeatedly followed up through the results management process and that some remain pending.”
The agency confirms that, “as part of its compliance monitoring program, it has been aware of ongoing problems related to CELAD, including several issues related to controls and results management. In this connection, WADA provided CELAD with a report of corrective actions that needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency, including with respect to a number of delayed cases. “This matter is ongoing.”
He assures that the AMA also has more questions about the Spanish model “in particular about the way in which the Anti-Doping Law 2021 is being applied from the country. Although WADA supported the passage of the legislation, it has since become clear that the way the law is being interpreted and applied in practice does not conform to the terms of the World Anti-Doping Code.”
“WADA always reserves the right to request amendments to legislation when it is applied incorrectly or in a way that conflicts with the Code. In addition, apparent non-compliance has been identified in a royal decree that was published in October 2023 without “no prior consultation with WADA. This could trigger new compliance problems for CELAD in the coming weeks,” he says.
Faced with this situation, Banka specifies that WADA is “very aware of the deeply rooted problems in Spanish anti-doping” and that he is “disappointed with the level of cooperation” they have received from CELAD in their “attempt to improve the system for Spanish athletes. The fact that there are positive cases that have not been treated in time, despite regular monitoring by WADA, is unacceptable.”
The leader of the international organization states that he will “ensure that CELAD – and all anti-doping organizations – adhere to the strictest standards in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, including the prosecution of cases where appropriate.”