Dominguez denies dope trafficking: report

AFP, Tuesday 14 Dec 2010

World steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez denied involvement in a major sports doping scandal in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE

Marta Dominguez

Dominguez was one of 14 people detained by police on December 9. She was allowed to go home the same evening under suspicion of a public health crime related to doping substances.

The 35-year-old, who is not taking part in the 2011 season because she is pregnant, is expected to be questioned by a judge presiding over the investigation this week.

"Who could believe I would be trafficking in doping substances? Of course I have never trafficked in doping substances," she told EFE in a written interview published in the press Tuesday.

Dominguez said no-one had informed her of any evidence against her, and the police had told her on December 9 that she was simply a witness in the proceedings.

"Who decided, and for what reason, that I would go from being a witness to being accused of a crime if in my home they did not find any banned substance?" she asked.

"I can only trust that the judge will analyze the whole case coldly and put an end to all this."

Dominguez said police had searched her home for four hours without finding any trace of doping substances.

"They are accusing me of making a veritable fortune at the cost of my companions' health. Can there be a more serious accusation than that for someone who has made sports their life?" the athlete asked.

"I think that before taking any decision, they should let me defend myself and hear my version, but the first person who should hear it is the judge," she said.

On Sunday, six of the 14 detained suspects were charged with public health offences and trafficking in illegal substances including Dominguez' coach Cezar Perez. Dominguez herself has not been formally charged.

Police had searched 15 properties around Spain on Thursday as part of Operation Galgo, Spanish for greyhound, seizing anabolic steroids, bags of blood and laboratory utensils used for blood transfusions.

Dominguez, who also won the silver medal in the 5,000 metres at the 2001 and 2003 world championships, had planned to return in 2012 to compete in the London Olympics.

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