Spanish anti-doping agency responds to Ramos reports
Following allegations made against Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, Spain's anti-doping agency AEPSAD has sought to clarify its stance.
Spain's anti-doping agency AEPSAD has stated it only opens disciplinary proceedings "when it has sufficient evidence of a possible anti-doping rule violation" following allegations made against Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos by German publication Der Spiegel.
The claims, which are based on documents purportedly obtained by whistleblowers Football Leaks, suggested Ramos had broken anti-doping protocol on two occasions.
Real Madrid have issued a statement insisting Ramos has never breached such rules, while UEFA "strongly and categorically refuted unfounded allegations it has covered up positive doping results", in relation to accusations the Spain defender gave a sample containing traces of a forbidden substance after the 2017 Champions League final against Juventus.
The second claim made by Der Spiegel alleges Ramos knowingly broke anti-doping rules by showering prior to providing a sample after the LaLiga game against Malaga in April 2018.
The newspaper says the case was handled by AEPSAD and, in its response to the reports, the organisation sought to clarify is position, although Ramos was not referenced specifically in the statement.
AEPSAD's statement read: "Given the numerous inquiries from the national and international media, the Spanish Agency for the Protection of Health in Sport (AEPSAD) reports the following:
"The Spanish anti-doping legislation expressly prevents this Agency from making public any information about the content of disciplinary proceedings or reserved proceedings carried out in the framework of investigations in the event of possible infringements of anti-doping regulations.
"AEPSAD only proceeds to the opening of disciplinary proceedings when it has sufficient evidence of a possible anti-doping rule violation, otherwise AEPSAD does not proceed with the opening of disciplinary proceedings."
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said: "We were not aware of this matter and we will contact the relevant testing authority (AEPSAD) for more information."
In their own statement, addressing allegations beyond the Champions League final claims, Real Madrid said: "Regarding the rest of the content from the aforementioned publication, the club does not pronounce itself before the evidence of its insubstantial nature."