The president of the Italian Football Association’s anti-doping commission has questioned Spanish football after pointing out they have struggled to win since the case against Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
Fuentes was recently handed a one-year suspended prison sentence for endangering public health after his involvement in a major doping ring principally involving cycling, although he claimed during the trial he had worked with athletes from other sports – including football.
Although no players or clubs have been implicated in the case, Giuseppe Capua has now suggested that the success of Spanish football has been affected ever since Fuentes and his associates were arrested, alluding to the recent failings of Liga clubs in European competition, as well as Spain’s dismal run in the 2012 Olympic Games.
“It may be a coincidence, but lately Spain do not win as much,” he told the national congress of the free association of Italian football physicians in Florence.
Spain are currently top of their qualifying group for World Cup 2014, and will take part in this summer’s Confederations Cup finals in Brazil, beginning next month.
Fuentes was convicted at the end of April as part of the Operacion Puerto case, along with Ignacio Labarta, a former official in the Kelme cycling team.
Fifa has reacted to the case by committing to the introduction of blood tests for the World Cup finals next year, after John Fahey, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), met with Fifa president Sepp Blatter over the issue of doping tests in international football.
Wada had requested access to the blood bags involved in the conviction of Fuentes, but the Spanish court ordered them to be destroyed following the trial.