The President of the Spanish Tennis Federation has confirmed that he is working with the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee to bring action against Canal+ after the French TV station last week released three controversial videos linking Spanish athletes to doping.
In a Spanish press conference at the Davis Cup tie in Oviedo between Spain and Kazakhstan, Jose Luis Escañuela reaffirmed that the Federation would work with the Olympic Committee to shut down the videos and “take action on behalf of the people involved,” on the grounds that Canal + used the Spanish Tennis Federation’s logo without
permission, a logo that represents “history and feelings”.
Revealing that the Federation has been in contact with the players affected, in particular Rafael Nadal, Escañuela said it was the Federation’s decision to “act together” rather than each for their own.
“The Spanish players do not need defense, to defend themselves because they are the best in the world,” said Escañuela.
“We respect France and their morals, but to hit on Spain, we are not happy,” he said.
Revealing that the International Tennis Federation has pledged to support the Spanish Federation’s efforts, Alejandro Blanco, President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, said that Canal + had “crossed a line you should not cross,” and called on the Presidents of the other Spanish federations implicated, including football and cycling, to come together.
“The idea is to bring an action consistent with the coordination of the Spanish Olympic Committee, along with the other federations involved,” said Escañuela, who was also joined by Pablo Fernandez, a lawyer for the Spanish Federation.
Blanco, who is the head of Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, has also suggested revising the principle of “objective responsibility” in the quest to tackle doping.
“There is a lot of concern about this principle, because you make the athlete responsible everything he has in his body, and that is very complicated if we take it to the personal terrain,” Blanco said.
The Canal+ videos come after French newspaper Le Monde was forced to pay 15,000 Euros in damages in November 2011 for using “false and unverified facts” in relation to Operacion Puerto, the codename for a Spanish police operation targeting the doping network, amongst cyclists in particular, of Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
Alberto Contador, the Spanish cyclist who last week was banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), has been called to testify in the ongoing case.
“I think that Spain should have a found the way to disclose all the Operation Puerto. Right now it wouldn’t be this perception, this feeling,” Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the International Tennis Federation, told the German Press Agency DPA last week.
“It was not a mistake, (but) this was not good for sport in Spain, the fact that they weren’t able to disclose all the aspects of the Operation Puerto,” said Ricci Bitti, who is also member of the IOC and of the executive committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Meanwhile Nadal, who last week said it was “sad to see a campaign like that against something that has cost so much to achieve” revealed on twitter that he was awoken by drug testers at 8.30am this morning. “8:30 in the morning!!!Just finished passing a surprise antidoping test…it was expected after everything…but I’m happy it’s like
this!” he tweeted.