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Astiazaran rejects doping claims

Jose Luis Astiazaran has denied allegations Real Sociedad bought illegal doping products during his presidency between 2001 and 2005.

Astiazaran, now the head of the Spanish football league, came under fire after Inaki Badiola, who had a stint as Sociedad president in 2008, claimed the Basque club had purchased banned substances in the six years before he took over and possibly earlier.

Speaking in an interview with sports daily AS, Badiola said he believed two club doctors had been given money to purchase the doping products from Eufemaniano Fuentes, a doctor who is on trial in Madrid for his involvement in the widespread doping of professional cyclists.

“During my period as president of Real Sociedad, I never had knowledge or suspicion of illegal practices in relation to the medical services, which always worked with the utmost ethics and professionalism” Astiazaran said in a statement released on Monday.

“If I had, I would have acted forcefully and with due diligence.

“Real Sociedad has always, and obviously under my presidency, collaborated closely with authorities charged with testing for doping and there has never been any incident in the numerous anti-doping tests taken.

“Given the statements and falsities expressed by Mr Badiola, I reserve the right to begin whatever legal proceedings will be necessary to defend my honour.”

Sociedad issued their own statement later on Monday, declaring they were willing to actively cooperate with the authorities to confirm their innocence.

“Real Sociedad reserves the right to any legal action it considers appropriate to re-establish its honour,” the club said.

The club also made note that judges overseeing the case involving Fuentes had not implicated anyone from Sociedad.

Mon 4 February, 2013
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