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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

Fuentes denies any links with Spanish side Betis

MADRID, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The doctor at the centre of a Spanish investigation into doping in sport has issued a statement denying that he has ever worked with Primera Liga side Real Betis or any of its players.

Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was responding to a report in French daily Le Monde earlier this month that claimed he had worked with the club on the physical preparation of their players.

"I want to clarify that neither in the interview that I gave to the journalist Stephane Mandard, of which I possess a taped copy, nor in any conversation with him or any other journalist have I ever suggested that I had any professional relationship with Betis or its players," Fuentes said in a statement on the Betis website.

Le Monde said it had accessed documents suggesting that Fuentes had been involved in the physical preparation, including possible use of illegal substances, of Primera Liga clubs Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and Betis.

All four teams have denied the existence of any such relationship, while Barcelona and Real Madrid have said they will be taking out legal action against Le Monde.

Fuentes, who has collaborated with several cycling teams, has been accused of offences against public health after raids on a number of addresses in Spain in May this year found large quantities of anabolic steroids, laboratory equipment used for blood transfusions and more than 100 bags of frozen blood.