A Spanish judge will launch an investigation into the accusations of professional cyclist Jesus Manzano that a system of organized doping existed while he was riding for the Kelme team.
Although Spain has no specific anti-doping laws, an unnamed Madrid judge said through a statement that he had opened the investigation because of a possible breach of public-health legislation.
According to the penal code, such offenses can carry a sentence of up to six years in prison.
Manzano, who rode with the Kelme team for three years but was dropped from the squad last September, published his claims in the Spanish sports daily AS last month.
He said the use of banned substances such as the endurance booster EPO (erythropoietin) and human growth hormone, as well as practices such as blood transfusion, had been used while he rode for the team.
“I’ve made my declarations in order to try and help bring a solution to the doping problem,” said Manzano. “There are a lot of interests who want to cover it all up.
“The existing controls are not effective. It’s just like when people speed on the motorway and know a radar is coming up, all they do is slow down so they don’t lose their license.”
Kelme, which has denied carrying out an organized system of doping, has been barred from this year’s Tour de France as a result of the accusations.