Courts Issued Fourteen Convictions for Doping in Spain in The Last Five Years

This is clear from  a study  that will be published shortly and that has been prepared by the lawyer specializing in anti-doping policies and pre-doctoral researcher,  Alberto Yelmo , in which he highlights that  most of the convictions were adopted in the year that now ends. .

“The results of police operations against doping such as Galgo, Puerto or Estrobo had accentuated the belief that there are no criminal sentences for doping in our country,” says Yelmo, who states after his investigation that ” in Spain, the courts do condemn doping . ”

According to their conclusions, “most of the sentences affect bodybuilding-related police operations, the same legal bases not being applied when the objective of the investigations has been high-performance sport.”

Sentences of conviction have been for doctors, pharmacists, sports trainers, managers of centers selling nutritional supplements, people outside the sport who distributed and athletes who were also engaged in drug trafficking.

The penalties imposed, normally between six months and one year, have prevented the convicts from entering prison, although they have been accompanied by financial fines and disqualifications for professional practice for periods of between two and five years.

Despite this, the Yelmo study indicates that  penalties are still significantly less than those provided for other related crimes such  as the distribution of counterfeit or unauthorized drugs or the manipulation of sports competitions, in which penalties of up to three times higher can be imposed. .

Article 362 of the Spanish Penal Code, which regulates the crime of doping,  provides for prison terms of between six months and two years for those who facilitate these practices among athletes, and must also demonstrate that they endanger life or health of them , “something that in some judicial cases has been used to decree the acquittal of the accused,” he recalls.

“As it is a crime of danger and not of result, the jurisprudence has recognized that it is not necessary to identify specific people who have suffered harmful effects from doping, but it is sufficient to confirm that doping products were intended for athletes and that its use was made in conditions that implied a risk to their health or life, “considers the lawyer.

Regarding the  few sports sanctions in Spain as a result of police investigations , Yelmo points out that “whenever certain evidence obtained in the investigation of a criminal proceeding does not affect conduct such as the administration or trafficking of prohibited substances, the judge may refer them to the Spanish Agency for the Protection of Health in Sport (AEPSAD) immediately, without waiting for the resolution of the procedure “,

This is provided for in article 33 of the Spanish Anti-Doping Law, which facilitates  reciprocal collaboration between AEPSAD and the judicial authorities  in cases in which sports offenses such as the use or possession of prohibited substances or methods by athletes or people are discovered. support.

“These behaviors, since they are not among those criminally criminalized, must be sanctioned in the sports field independently of the criminal procedure.  Using criminal policy mechanisms against doping is an effective measure to achieve cleaner sports activities , since currently the media steroidi testosterone cypionate of anti-doping organizations are very limited, “he says.

Alberto Yelmo, whose work was selected by the AMA in 2011 among the finalists for his research award and has participated as an external anti-doping advisor in AEPSAD seminars, considers ” essential to promote a comprehensive policy that includes the Security Forces and Bodies of the State and Sanitary Inspection Services “in the fight against doping in Spain.