Spain replaces anti-doping chief after irregularities controversy

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Spain replaces anti-doping chief after irregularities controversy
Doping scandals in Spanish cycling have long tarnished the image of the sport at home and abroad. (Photo by Oscar DEL POZO / AFP)

Spain has replaced the chief of their anti-doping agency (CELAD) after accusations of malpractice, including exploiting bureaucratic loopholes to cover up positive cases.


The Spanish government demanded earlier in January that José Luis Terreros step down because of the "reputational damage" Spanish sport and the agency had suffered as a result.

CELAD said in a statement they have approved the appointment of former Secretary of State for Health Silvia Calzón to the position.


"At its meeting on Friday, the board of directors ... approved the appointment of Silvia Calzón to the post of director general of the organisation," announced CELAD, without referring to Terreros.

Spain's leading governmental sports authority (CSD) had asked Terreros to resign on January 5th.

The CSD passed on a report on the agency to Spanish prosecutors after an investigation into a complaint alleging "irregularities in the use of public funds and in the control and sanctioning of doping".

Spanish media outlet Relevo said CELAD had exploited bureaucratic loopholes to cover up positive cases.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also heavily criticised CELAD and said they were holding a comprehensive investigation, while threatening "significant consequences for Spanish sport" if doping cases are not dealt with appropriately.

CELAD responded on January 10th in a statement, describing the reports of malpractice as "untrue" and "biased conjectures as a result of sensationalist interpretations".

Terreros then told El País he would step down but at his own pace, and said the reports were "false information".


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