Barca to take legal action over doping allegations

December 9, 2006

MADRID, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Barcelona announced on Saturday that they will be taking legal action against French daily Le Monde for alleging that the club had links to the doctor at the centre of a Spanish doping investigation.

The European and Spanish champions reiterated that they had no relationship with Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes who has been accused of offences against public health following raids on a number of addresses in Madrid and Zaragoza in May this year.

Le Monde said it had accessed documents suggesting that Fuentes, who has collaborated with several cycling teams, had been involved in the physical preparation of the Barcelona and Real Madrid teams via their respective medical departments.

'Doctor Fuentes is not linked nor has ever been linked with the medical services of FC Barcelona neither officially nor unofficially,' the club said in a statement.

'Barcelona have not used any unauthorised medical practices, nor have they used any unauthorised product or substance and as a consequence the information in the article is untrue.'

Le Monde asserted that Barcelona had approached Fuentes to collaborate with the Primera Liga side in 1996 and 2006, but although the club admitted there had been an approach in 1996 they said there had been no contact since 2003.

Barca demanded that Le Monde issue an official apology before initiating legal action.