MARCA: Armstrong case may still have legs in Spain

MARCA reports that local prosecutors are looking into 2009-10, the latter years of the Armstrong era

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation into doping practices linked to Lance Armstrong could still have implications in Spain.

The Spanish daily MARCA reported Sunday that local prosecutors are pursuing links to Spanish cycling during 2009-10, the latter years of the Armstrong era.

According to the report, USADA shared information in March with Spain’s anti-doping agency, now called AEPSAD (Agencia Española de Protección de la Salud en el Deporte).

While the Reasoned Decision released publicly in October 2012 focused primarily on North American riders, MARCA reported that USADA gave the complete dossier to Spanish anti-doping authorities, including all redacted names linked to Spanish doctors, trainers, and cyclists.

That information was shared with authorities in Girona, Puigcerdá, Valencia, Tenerife, Alicante, and Denia, all areas where the team’s riders and doctors were active.

According to MARCA, so far, only Denia has taken an interest in pursuing the investigation.

Earlier this year, Spanish prosecutors ruled that an eight-year statute of limitations prevented them from pursuing legal action from the years 1999-2005.

The latest movement, however, is linked to training camps that Astana and RadioShack conducted in 2009 and 2010 near the coastal towns of Calpe and Denia.

It’s unclear whether the investigation is focused solely on Spanish doctors Pedro Celaya and Luís Garcia del Moral and trainer Pepe Martí — three Spaniards associated with Armstrong who were singled out by USADA — or might cast a wider net.

MARCA reported that prosecutors have interviewed more than 20 people to determine if Spanish anti-doping laws were broken.

In the wake of the Operación Puerto doping scandal in 2006, Spain enacted a stricter anti-doping law that could have major implications for Spanish riders and staff on the team during the 2009-2010.

There were six Spanish riders on Astana in 2009, including Alberto Contador, while there were three with RadioShack in 2010.