MADRID, April 17 — Spain’s Olympic track cycling team from Atlanta 1996 was supplied banned substances by Lance Armstrong’s disgraced former doctor Michele Ferrari, El Pais newspaper reported today.
According to a 2016 testimony, seen by El Pais, from Spanish doctor Luis Garcia del Moral, the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) took part in a doping programme between 1993 and 1998.
Del Moral, who was the track cycling team’s medical manager at the time, told the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2016 that Ferrari had provided banned doping products.
Asked if Ferrari supplied Spanish track cyclists with corticosteroids during this period, Del Moral replied: “That was not the main thing. The main thing was EPO and growth hormones.”
El Pais said Del Moral supported his claim with a spreadsheet dated July 15, 1996 — four days before the start of the Atlanta Olympics.
The document registered 12,866,729 pesetas, around 80,000 euros, being reimbursed to Ferrari by the RFEC, and 6,195,245 pesetas, around 36,000 euros, declared as expenses spent in a pharmacy.
Del Moral’s testimony was made during an appeal case regarding Johan Bruyneel, the former sporting director of Armstrong’s US Postal Service team, who was handed a 10-year suspension by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2014.
When he left the RFEC, Del Moral went on to work for US Postal — during Armstrong’s first five Tour de France victories.
El Pais said this was the first time a court had been presented with evidence of a Spanish national sports federation “organising and financing doping to improve the performance of its athletes”.
Although private organisations, such federations receive government subsidies.
Six Spanish track cyclists competed in Atlanta, with the best result a fifth-place finish in the team pursuit, achieved by Juan Martinez Oliver, Joan Llaneras, Adolfo Alperi and Santos Gonzalez. Martinez Oliver also came fifth in the individual pursuit while Jose Manuel Moreno and Jose Escuredo competed in the sprint.
Del Moral and Ferrari both received lifetime bans from USADA for their links with Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012.
“It wasn’t for the money,” Del Moral said of his supplying cyclists with doping products. “When I started with US Postal, I only earned 6,000 euros for the whole season.”
Asked if he provided doping products because he was paid to do so, Del Moral replied: “And because it was part of the system.” — AFP