Real Sociedad board insists club is clean of doping

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 05, 2013 08:40 hrs

Madrid, Feb 5 (IANS) Spanish La Liga club Real Sociedad released an official communique denying accusations of doping which were levelled at the club by former club president Inaki Badiola.

Badiola said the alleged malpractice had happened before his brief tenure at the San Sebastian based club in 2008, linking it to the ongoing Operation Puerto doping trial, which is currently being held here, reports Xinhua.

This provoked a response from the current Board of Directors at Real Sociedad, who published a statement Monday evening.

"Since the current Board of Administration took the responsibility of managing the club on December 20, 2008, it can guarantee there have been no irregular practices," said the statement.

"When this Board took over the club, Real Sociedad was in administration and in the hands of the Justice department, as a result all of the information regarding the club's economy, was controlled by the judicial institution," said the club, implying any economic irregularities would have been seen by the judicially appointed administrators.

The club highlighted that nobody from Real Sociedad had been called to appear as a witness in the Operation Puerto trial which broke in May 2011 and which has Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes as the main defendant, along with former cycling team managers Manolo Saiz and Vicente Belda. But added that if asked they would be willing to appear.

"Real Sociedad shows its total willingness to actively collaborate with the relative organisations with the aim of clearing up the facts which the information refers to and highlights the club's zero tolerance of doping practices," said the statement.

Meanwhile Jose Luis Astiazaran, who was Real Sociedad president between 2001 and 2005, has also denied all of the Badiola's allegations in a five point communique in which he insisted he had no knowledge of doping practices and highlighting that his former club had always collaborated with anti-doping agencies.

More from Sify: