Javier Sanchez

Updated Thursday, February 29, 2024-23:43

  • Sanction Mo Katir, banned for two years for skipping three anti-doping controls, will not go to the Paris Games

  • Triple jump Ana Peleteiro's quick return after her pregnancy: "I'm stunned, I'm really into it now"

  • 1,500 meters The monastic life of Mario García Romo in the United States: "I have only gone to a bar one day"

Let's say that Glasgow is a party, that everything goes well for Spain.

This Friday (10:30 p.m., Teledeporte),

María Vicente

celebrates her first 'big' medal in the pentathlon;

On Sunday morning (11:15 a.m.),

Ana Peleteiro

is Ana Peleteiro again in the triple jump;

and on Sunday afternoon,

Mariano García

in the 800 meters (22.10) and

Mario García Romo

in the 1,500 meters (22.30) exceeded expectations.

Four medals: it would be the best indoor World Cup in the last 20 years for the team.

The celebration would bring hope before the 2024 Paris Olympics, but it would equally be impossible to avoid doubts.

What if all that glitters is not gold? They will ask themselves in other countries.

The Spanish anti-doping system is experiencing its worst moment since Operation Puerto and those who suffer the most are those who wear the red.

The current credibility problems of the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (CELAD) stain its reputation, raise concerns about its cleanliness at an international level and dirty the atmosphere within the team.

«It makes a lot of anger.

Whoever wins a medal in Glasgow will have to endure the shadow of suspicion for something that will be completely foreign to them.

We need it to be resolved quickly," explains to EL MUNDO walker

Álvaro Martín

, current double world champion, who will not be in Glasgow - there is no indoor walking - but who from a distance continues to be the leader of the team.

The Agency's failures

Two weeks ago, a statement written by him demanding "necessary and urgent measures" was signed by 77 other athletes and last week he met with

José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes

, president of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), and

Silvia Calzón

, new director of CELAD, to demand "progress."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has already demanded that Spain act and, in fact, a delegation from the body visited Madrid this week to put pressure.

At stake, even, a sanction that leaves the country out of competitions such as the Olympic Games themselves.

But what is the problem?

There are several, but they can be summarized: in recent years the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (CELAD) has functioned extremely poorly.

As revealed by Relevo, there were anti-doping controls carried out outside the regulations - and therefore invalid -, there were irregular biological passports that were never sanctioned and there were therapeutic use authorizations given to athletes after the fact to cover positive cases.

In an interview with Marca, the previous president of CELAD,

José Luis Terreros

, dismissed this January, admitted that there were "five or six files" kept in a drawer and, from there, everything, the discredit outside the Spanish borders. .

The Games in danger?

«We must dilute this cloud of suspicions that we have above us and we must do it now.

If there are cases archived for whatever reason, CELAD must reopen them, sanction them and that's it.

Without excuses.

All Spanish athletes should be on top of this issue, not just athletes.

Imagine that the AMA leaves us without the Olympic Games, you'll tell me if it's not worrying," analyzes Martín, who knows about the precedents.

His case was more serious, but Russia already had to see how its athletes competed in Tokyo 2020 as neutrals due to their anti-doping problems.

«With Russia we tore our clothes and, now, when it is our turn at home, we have to be equally implacable.

"We must act firmly against traps," proclaims the marcher.

Then there is the Katir



His sanction for not being reachable on three occasions has nothing to do with the CELAD crisis, but the coincidence of both news items has caused the media in Great Britain and France to point the finger at Spain.

"It doesn't help, it's clear that his [Katir's] case doesn't help," concludes Martín before an indoor World Cup in Glasgow in which Spain can shine despite having to live with suspicions.