Spanish police intercepts doping text messages
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spanish police intercepts doping text messages

by Bjorn Haake at 5:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Spanish police intercepted several text messages that seem to confirm cycling doctor Jesús Losa was involved in doping practices. Losa's house was recently searched, but he was warned and potentially able to remove evidence.

One SMS was supposedly sent by a former Tour de France winner, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which quotes Spanish paper Intervíu. "With the scare from the Tour I had enough. Fortunately I am not ambitious and didn't take any of the stuff you sent to me - you were on the verge of sending me to unemployment and ruining my career... I won't pay a single euro anymore."

Intervíu also named riders, such as Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing). He is supposed to have sent a text message to Losa on January 28, 2009. "Call me, so we can meet for dinner and what you can bring for me; we have a crisis."

Interesting was another text message from an unidentified person to Losa: "Your friend won Paris-Nice." Losa replied, "There he was like a champion." Although it is not clear which year the message was referring to, the Intervíu thinks the rider in question is Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne).

Losa was a team doctor for Euskaltel-Euskadi, but was fired in 2004, after David Millar accused Losa of supporting doping practices. Moisés Dueñas, who was willing to cooperate for a lighter sentencing, also accused Losa. Dueñas detailed how Losa instructed him how to take certain substances. "Losa told me that I would never test positive, if I follow his instructions."

After being fired by Euskaltel, Losa went to Relax, which hired several riders under Puerto suspicion, including Francisco Mancebo, Oscar Sevilla and Santi Pérez.

Losa is currently employed at the regional center for sports medicine (CRMD) in Valladolid, as is his wife, Luisa Fernanda Nurueña. This center has been analyzing blood samples for years and some think that Nurueña had the chance to avoid positive test cases.

Maynar suspended for ten years

Another doctor, Marcos Maynar, has been suspended for ten years from the Portuguese Federation. Maynar is accused of giving doping substances to riders at the LA-MSS team. It may get worse for Maynar and LA-MSS manager Manuel Zeferino, who are in legal proceedings and face up to eight years in prison.

The investigations started in May 2008, after Bruno Neves collapsed during a race with heart failure, although the autopsy did not reveal a relation to misusing drugs.

A search at the team's headquarters did produce a large amount of banned substances and equipment for blood transfusions, however. Maynar is still teaching physiology at the University Extremadura. 

This highly focused investigation by Spanish police could be a sign that they too are frustrated by the fact that their courts forcefully put the lid on the Operación Puerto case.


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