Spanish Football League (LFP) President Jose Luis Astiazaran has denied any knowledge of alleged doping offences during his time at Real Sociedad.
Former La Real President and one of Astiazaran’s successors at Anoeta, Inaki Badiola, today claimed that from 2002-2008, the Basque club’s board were sanctioning the acquisition of drugs prohibited for use in football.
Specifically speaking of the alleged actions of two former club doctors from 2002-2008 and their believed link to the on trial Eufemiano Fuentes, Badiola suggested that directives were given at board level ‘to buy medicines or products that at that time were classified as doping, and so were acquired with hidden money on the black market’.
Astiazaran served as Real President from 2001 to 2005 and is insinuated by Badiola as being one of four former Presidents from 2002-2008 to have overseen this alleged activity.
However, in a statement released on Monday via the LFP’s offical website, Astiazaran has made clear his position on the matter, pointing out that he had been absolved in previous legal proceedings brought against him by Badiola and that he was considering legal action of his own this time.
“1. During the period of my term as President of my term as President of Real Sociedad (2001-2005), I have never had knowledge or suspicion of illegal practices being conducted with the medical services, which always worked within the maximum ethics and professionalism. If I had, I would have acted with due diligence and forcefulness.
2. Real Sociedad, under my presidency, worked closely with the authorities responsible for doping control, and there was never any impact on the countless doping controls conducted.
3. When Mr Badiola became President of Real Sociedad (January-December 2008), three years after the end of my term (June 2005), he commissioned an external audit, which was used to promote different court proceedings against former directors of the company, among whom I was included and that the courts acquitted, with no civil or criminal consequence for me, so it is absolutely false and untimely, everything that has manifested today.
4. It is noteworthy that in September 2011, Mr Badiola was barred from holding public office for two years for representing outside interests and other considerations when taking Real Sociedad into administration.
5. Also, in relation to the insinuations made by Mr Badiola, whereby my role as President of the LFP has been used to cover up irregularities, I must that these are totally false and show a complete ignorance for the performance and independence of the LFP.
6. Under the declarations and misrepresentations made by Mr Badiola, I reserve the right to take all legal action appropriate to defend the right to honour.”