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Feb 6, 2013

Spain FA play down doping claims

Spanish FA president Angel Maria Villar has called the revelations of alleged doping at Real Sociedad "just an anecdote to an anecdote" and pointed out that many La Liga players take and pass drug tests every weekend.

The allegations about illegal medical practices at Sociedad a decade ago have emerged during the ongoing 'Operacion Puerto' trial, in which Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and four co-defendants face doping charges.

Former La Real president Inaki Badiola claimed in AS this week that the club had bought illegal medicines on the black market in the past, while El Pais have published documents which they say show the club had used Fuentes' services.

However, Villar, believes the cases of doping which have come to light are miniscule in the wider picture of Spanish football.

"Thanks be to God, there is no doping," Villar told El Pais. "Well, very little, so little that the cases given are just an anecdote to an anecdote. In Spain, players take many tests each weekend, and nobody is found to be positive. That is the reality. The rest is just talk, talk, talk..."

Villar, who has headed the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol [RFEF] since 1988 and is currently a vice president of both UEFA and FIFA, says it is not logical for people to call into question all of Spanish football because of one particular case.

"Because of an exceptional case all of Spanish football is questioned," he said "We are crazy. There is no reasoning behind this."

Although, when asked specifically about accusations from Badiola regarding the role played in the alleged doping at the Basque club by current Liga de Futbol Profesional [LFP] head Jose Luis Astiazaran, Villar made no comment.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, asked about the issue at his pre-game press conference before the friendly against Uruguay, said he would prefer to think that doping did not exist in football.

"I have nothing new to add about that," Del Bosque said. "I have never seen it, not as a player or a coach, nor do I believe that I will see it in the future. I prefer to be an innocent than to think it exists. It is a subject I prefer to avoid."

On Wednesday El Pais reported that the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] were closely following the emergence of football at the 'Puerto' trial, which was originally focused on investigating illegal practices in cycling. WADA were in regular contact with the Spanish state anti-doping body [AEA] said the newspaper.

Astiazaran and Real Sociedad have both issued strong statements this week denying any involvement in any illegal activity.

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