Dominguez appears in court over dope allegations

AFP, Wednesday 22 Dec 2010

The world horse racing champion showed up for court questioning over trafficking suspicions, though says she did no such thing

Marta Dominguez speaks with the media at a Madrid courthouse (Photo: Reuters)

World steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez appeared in court Wednesday for questioning over suspicions that she trafficked performance-enhancing drugs.

The 35-year-old, who is four months pregnant with her first child and lives in Palencia in northern Spain, arrived at the courthouse in the Spanish capital, accompanied by her husband and a lawyer.

Dominguez, who won the 3,000m steeplechase gold in Berlin in 2009 after taking silver in the 5,000m in 2003 and 2001, has denied the allegations against her.

"Who could believe I would be trafficking in doping substances? Of course I have never trafficked in doping substances," she told Spanish news agency EFE last week.

Dominguez was one of 14 people detained by police on 9 December as part of the investigation into sports doping dubbed "Operation Greyhound." She was allowed to go home that same evening.

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.

Among the people charged is Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who was implicated in another major investigation into doping, the 2006 "Operation Puerto" which mostly focused on cyclists.

Dominguez has been suspended as one of the four vice presidents of Spain's athletics federation while the investigation is underway.

She has already said that she would not defend her world title in the 2011 event in the South Korean city of Daegu because of her pregnancy but had planned to return the following year to compete in the London Olympics.

Short link: