The president of the Superior Sports Council (CSD), José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, has requested the resignation of the director of the Spanish Commission to Combat Doping in Sport (CELAD), José Luis Terreros. The CSD announced this Friday through an official press release, as part of the scandal that is shaking the public institutions that regulate and supervise sport in Spain.
CELAD, the organization responsible for protecting the right to health of all athletes and the right to participate in a competition without cheating, was the subject of a complaint from an individual a few months ago. The documents indicate that CELAD left Spanish athletes who tested positive without sanction, activated procedures to conceal the use of banned substances and awarded contracts to companies that did not comply with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency (AMA), giving rise to formal defects, controls and their virtual nullity. WADA itself warned against the plausibility of the reported events and the CSD took the matter to the public prosecutor’s office.
The highest administrative body for sport in Spain, the CSD reports directly to the government through the Ministry of Education and Sports. Among its powers is the power to supervise anti-doping organizations, such as CELAD, but — curiously — it lacks the power to freely remove its leader. The request is a formality. A step in the bureaucratic sequence that Rodríguez Uribes hastened to take this Friday, as reported by the CSD in a long press release.
“We cannot allow the slightest suspicion or doubt regarding the fight against doping and the system which must guarantee fair play, the integrity of competitions and preserve the health of athletes,” the note said. “For all this, taking into account the nature of the events and the reputational damage to which Spanish sport and our control system are exposed, the president of the CSD, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, asked the director of the Spanish Commission to fight against doping in Sport, José Luis Terreros, his resignation.
After making the request, the press release continues by detailing the administrative procedure that will be followed in the event that Terreros ignores: “If this (resignation) has not taken place, the Minister (Culture and Sports) Pilar Alegría and the president of the Superior Council of Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, will propose in the framework of the next CELAD Directory Council the dismissal of Mr. Terreros. The Governing Council, the body ultimately responsible for this decision, is made up of a councilor representing the Spanish sports federations, a councilor representing all the Autonomous Communities and several councilors representing various ministries.
WADA highlights ‘deep-rooted problems’ in Spain
The Spanish anti-doping administration scandal has repercussions for WADA. Its president, Witold Banka, said yesterday that his organization had been investigating the Spanish case for some time. “We are very aware of the deep-rooted problems in the Spanish anti-doping fight. I am disappointed with the level of cooperation we have received from CELAD in our attempt to improve the system for Spanish athletes. “The fact that there are positive cases that were not treated in time is unacceptable.”
“WADA,” Banka concluded, “will always ensure that CELAD – and all anti-doping organizations – uphold the highest standards consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code, including through prosecution where appropriate.” All of these issues are being thoroughly investigated. If these issues are not addressed quickly and effectively, it is clear that there will be significant consequences for Spanish sport. »
Finally, Banka warned in a letter that WADA had detected that Spain was not complying with anti-doping rules. She points in particular to the 2021 anti-doping law and its implementation by a subsequent decree. “Apparent non-compliances were noted in a royal decree published in October 2023 without any prior consultation with WADA,” the statement said. “The way the law is interpreted and applied in practice is not consistent with the terms of the World Anti-Doping Code.”