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The Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (CELAD) is under the gun from accusations of covering up doping positives. Wednesday, CELAD hit back at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Spanish media company Relevo with a public statement.
Amid the accusations, the Spanish government’s leading sports authority (CSD), called for the head of CELAD, Jose Luis Terreros, to step down. The call was due to the reputational damage that it had suffered in the media over recent weeks.
“All this news is untrue and is nothing more than interested and biased speculation. The result of sensationalist interpretations that are far removed from the rules in force and the rights of every athlete,” the statement reads.
WADA does not necessarily agree. “…we have genuine concerns related to ongoing problems with testing and results management at CELAD. Our only motivation is to strengthen the anti-doping system in Spain for all athletes,” James Fitzgerald of WADA wrote in an email to Athletics Illustrated.
Spain's leading government sports authority demanded the director of their anti-doping agency (CELAD) resigns after accusations of malpractice. The complaint alleged "irregularities in the use of public funds and in the control and sanctioning of doping".https://t.co/iLCDUQkZxx pic.twitter.com/I49gpAqGPL— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 6, 2024
Meanwhile, WADA is investigating the matter.
The Spanish agency said it was not aware of WADA’s investigation. “CELAD has always worked to defend the clean sport with full transparency, respecting national and international regulations and maintaining honest communication with the World Anti-Doping Agency at all times,” the statement continues.
Terreros told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Wednesday that he would step down but at his own pace. “Of course, I will go, and I will do it with joy, but I will go when I decide when everyone has heard me,” he said.
“I will go because how can I continue with people who treat me like this? I don’t want anyone to think that I’m leaving because of all this false information.”