Operación Galgo: Manuel Pascua admits facilitating the doping of his athletes
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Operación Galgo: Manuel Pascua admits facilitating the doping of his athletes

by Ben Atkins at 6:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Latest investigation surrounding Eufemiano Fuentes starting to see results

operacion galgoManuel Pascua, the successful Spanish coach caught up in the centre of the Guardia Civil’s Operación Galgo doping investigation, has apparently confessed that documents seized relate to doping plans for each of his athletes, El Pais reports.

“Each page corresponds to the doping planning for each type of athletic competition, aimed at the athletes he trains,” said a Guardia Civil statement. In documents seen by El Pais, Pascua acknowledges that he has partaken in doping with several of his athletes. Legal sources close to the paper have said that the coach is “very likely” to face charges of crimes against public health, which could see him sentenced to between six months and two years in prison.

Rather than the cryptic, but obvious, codenames used by Fuentes’ blood-doping ring, where cyclists were named after their dogs, Pascua used simple letter/number codes for his athletes. According to the Guardia Civil A15 refers to Nuria Fernández, B15-30 to Reyes Estévez, A1 to Murillo Digna Luz and B8B to Eugenio Barrios.

Pascua has likely elected to cooperate with the investigation under sheer weight of evidence. Police have reportedly intercepted a huge number of messages and calls to his mobile and home phones, transcripts of which were highly incriminating.

On one occasion Pascua received a call from an athlete named Herzog [which could turn out to be Dutch middle distance runner Adrienne Herzog, who is a training partner of Nuria Fernández, named above] who wanted to start using EPO in order to become European champion and that a friend had recommended him. He says that EPO is no good because it returns positive tests, the only thing that doesn’t give positive tests is blood-doping; Pascua then makes a call to former mountainbiker Alberto León.

While no professional cyclists currently appear to be implicated in the investigation, the net appears to be tightening around Fuentes. The controversial doctor escaped any sanction whatsoever for his systematic doping of so many athletes, which was uncovered during Operación Puerto, other than perhaps with a loss of income. Now it seems that he may well be about to get what he deserves.

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