Doctor denies ties with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona

December 8, 2006

MADRID, Spain -- The Spanish doctor at the center of a major doping scandal has denied any connection with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. "I deny them because there is no truth to them," physician Eufemiano Fuentes told Spanish National Television late Thursday, referring to allegations published the same day by the French newspaper Le Monde. The newspaper still stands by the story, insisting that notes handwritten by Fuentes mentioned these teams as having been treated by him. In an interview with Le Monde, Fuentes had refused to say whether he worked with Real Madrid and Spanish champion Barcelona, saying he had received death threats and been warned against saying "certain things." The clubs denied having any links to Fuentes and said it reserved the right to take legal action over the Le Monde article. Fuentes faces preliminary charges in Spain of crimes against public health. He was arrested in May as part of an investigation into doping in cycling, but has not been formally indicted. La Monde did not print the alleged notes, which it said included Fuentes' "preparation plans" for the clubs. The newspaper also didn't say how it got access to them nor specify whether the doctor gave the notes to the clubs. The newspaper said the notes did not name any individual players and that Spanish police had not seized them. Stephane Mandard, who wrote the article, told Cadena Ser radio Thursday night that he does not have possession of the documents, but was simply allowed by a source to see them. Mandard said he wanted to publish the documents in the newspaper, but the source would not let him. "I tried but he did not want to, and I respect my sources," Mandard told the radio station.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press