a) Proceedings of the preventive suspension of his federation licence.
Yesterday, Athletic Club submitted a new document to the Spanish Sports Disciplinary Committee (CEDD), dependent on the Superior Sports Council. In this document we requested this body to resolve, without further delay, the appeal lodged against the provisional suspensión of Carlos Gurpegi’s Federation licence. In this sense, the Club has reminded the CEDD that it has already been three weeks since the Royal Spanish Federation sent their report of the preventive suspension. Likewise, the Club, as well as the player, renounced to lodge final appeals two weeks ago, so that the only thing that remains to be done is for the Committee to dictate its resolution.
Athletic Club hopes the CEDD deals with this matter in their meeting, tomorrow Friday. Otherwise another delay (it would be the third one) would be, not only unjustifiable but it would also mean plain and simple, that the player’s and the entity’s lack of legal safety is totally disregarded. In this respect, it must be clearly understood that all proceedings were performed by March 12 , so that the Committee could have solved this question during their meeting last March 14 (which would have been only natural), or on March 21. What’s more, even the report that the Committee requested to CARICD- which has nothing to do with the preventive suspension but is related to the root of this matter – was submitted last March 10. To sum up, there is no excuse to justify another delay and, if it happened, this delay would be due to CEDD’s deliberate will to postpone its resolution.
b) Main proceedings.
Likewise and related to the investigation of the sanctioning document carried out at the heart of the Competition Committee, unlike Carlos Gurpegi (who made his statement fifteen days ago), Athletic Club has not been properly summoned to declare as of yet.
Last Tuesday, we received an envelope from the Federation -which should have contained case documents – but it turned out to be a number of documents that can not be considered, by any means, a “case”.
Athletic Club has inmediately informed the judge, expressing our surprise and our concern because in this “file” the three documents of Carlos Gurpegi’s defense which have been used along the procedure are missing. We can not understand how the three documents of the player’s defense are found in this so-called file sent by the Federation last March 24.
Quite the contrary, and to the club’s surprise, the Anti-Doping Control Laboratory report is included in the file, which is included there not on initiative of any of the interested parties or the judge, but on initiative of the Competition Committee itself. This is unheard of since the body which is finally in charge of dictating a final resolution is not allowed by law to intervene in any legal proceedings (so that it is not “biased). In this sense, Athletic Club has insistingly reported to the judge and and to the CEDD itself, that several sports legal bodies are carrying out a “parallel investigation” – absolutely on the fringes of all regulating rules of the proceedings. Such is the case, that official bodies are delivering untimely reports trying to use this disciplinary expedient as a discusion among scientists about the convenience of modifying international regulations on the maximum quantities of 19-norandrosterone allowed.
About this last aspect, Athletic Club would like to insist, once more, that in these proceedings it is not the anti-doping regulations that are being tried, but the possibility of Carlos Gurpegi having consumed forbidden substances. Up to now, the only proof that exists to this respect is the report issued by the Laboratory of Extremadura, which categorically shows that the player naturally produces levels of 19-norandrosterone higher than permitted, and therefore, that he is innocent.
That’s why it is not fair that – instead of presenting proof during the proceedings in such a way that respect proceedings regulations – public bodies are more interested in discrediting the University of Extremadura ( to which, and not to be forgotten, Athletic Club turned when the directors of official laboratories in Madrid and Barcelona refused to carry out “unofficial tests”) than in researching Carlos Gurpegi’s pecularities.
And it is outrageous to see that from the Laboratory’s circle itself, and due to their delay (carrying out tests three months later, when the maximum legal period is ten days) the player is utterly defenseless. Besides, it is subtly stated in the mass media that not only should the player be sanctioned, but his “environment” as well. If instead of making these insidious accusations, the Laboratory had done their work properly, Carlos Gurpegi’s case would have been closed – without doubt- at the end of October 2002, and the series of imprudent legal actions, which in the end will discredit sports judicial bodies, would not have taken place.
Summing up, in Athletic Club we feel the need to express our deepest concern because, by this time – after a month-and-a-half investigation – we have still not been properly summoned to be able to make our statement. The totally lax attitude the Federation is showing in this case is only proportional to the irreparable damage that, for the last two months, the Club and, above all, the player Carlos Gurpegi have suffered.
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