MADRID (VN) — Spanish prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against two key members of the Lance Armstrong doping ring.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has recommended lifetime bans for Spanish doctor Luís García del Moral and trainer José Pepe Martí, but that won’t be enough to get them in legal trouble in Spain.
The Spanish daily Las Provincias cited sources within the provincial prosecutors’ office in Valencia in reporting that there will be no files charged against the pair due to statute of limitations.
García del Moral and Martí worked with the U.S. Postal Service team, but prosecutors say their hands are tied to press charges against the pair, according to the newspaper report.
Prosecutors said that statutes of limitations, which range from five to 10 years for such charges as endangerment of public health or the trafficking of illicit pharmaceuticals, prevented them from opening proceedings, a source told the paper.
In the wake of the release of USADA’s “Reasoned Decision” on October 12, the U.S. anti-doping authorities passed evidence and legal documents to their Spanish counterparts.
That evidence was shared with regional prosecutors to see if there were criminal charges to be considered, but sources told the newspaper no action would be taken. Attorneys did not question Del Moral or Martí, who both reside in the Valencia region.
Garcia del Moral served as U.S. Postal’s team doctor from 1999 to 2003 while Martí acted as a “trainer” with the Postal Service and later Discovery Channel through 2007. USADA contends that they were key players in the doping ring.
According to the report, prosecutors only considered activities up to 2003 during the pair’s activities with U.S. Postal Service.
USADA wrote that Del Moral was instrumental in doling out banned illegal substances, including EPO, human growth hormones and testosterone, as well as blood transfusions.
According to USADA, Martí was considered “the principal drug runner for the U.S. Postal Service team. Because of this, Martí was known as the ‘Courier.’”
Martí has appealed his lifetime ban.
Correction: This story originally reported that García del Moral had appealed his lifetime ban from USADA. He has not.