“Spain is the Paradise of Doping”

“Spain is the Paradise of Doping”
The athletic federation will take disciplinary action against Sergio Sánchez, who says he is ashamed to compete with the national team
El País: “España es el paraíso del dopaje”
C. Arribas reporting from Madrid, April 2, 2011

The Spanish Athletic Federation announced yesterday that it has opened a dossier on the athlete Sergio Sánchez, who last Thursday night [March 31] on OID Radio Cantabria’s program La voz del atleta accused Jaime Lissavetzky, until yesterday the Secretary of State for Sports, of promoting and covering up Alemayehu Bezabeh’s doping.

“It looks like now we have to nationalize people, spoil them, and drug them. Spain is the paradise of doping. I would become Qatari tomorrow if I could,” said Sánchez, a 28-year old from Castilla y León, a European record-holder in the indoor 2000 and 3000 meter runs and a second-place finisher in the world championships: “Bezabeh came to Spain, was nationalized by the politicians, and then was drugged by them. I’m ashamed to wear the Spanish jersey. Wearing it in an international competition would damage my image. Our country is a disgrace.” Sánchez admitted that he’s “under close watch” from anti-doping officials: “I’m tested twice a week. It’s a spectacular persecution.”

Despite confessing to the federation that he had a blood transfusion, Bezabeh, detained in Operation Greyhound, was absolved by the Competition Committee. The CSD will appeal the decision.

Sánchez’s dream, which he expressed in the interview hosted by fellow athlete Iván Hierro, is to wear the national jersey in the Olympic Games. “The ones who give orders should be the first ones accused. I am who I am, and I don’t have an Olympic grant from the ADO plan. Bezabeh and many others implicated in Operation Greyhound do,” he said. “I aspire to win an Olympic medal, and when I do I hope Jaime Lissavetzky tries to congratulate me so I can smack him in the face with it and say, ‘I got this thanks to all the shitty help you have me, which was none at all. Check this out! It’s a medal from a native-born Spaniard born who’s as white as milk.'”

Though he is not a part of the ADO plan (nor are Bezabeh and others implicated in Operation Greyhound, by Lissavetzky’s decision), Sánchez will receive more than 20,000 euros of public funding in 2011: an annual grant of 19,100€ from the Federation, the maximum permissible, and 4800€ from the state of Castilla y León.

“The ADO plan would have given him 12,000€ through an E grant, corresponding with his achievements,” explained the CSD, “but he renounced it because it was incompatible with the gift from Castilla y León. His federal gift is complementary with the ADO: if you receive 12,000€ from our plan, the Federation itself will only give you 7,100€.”

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