Barcelona refute links with banned doctor who worked with ‘drug-tainted’ Armstrong

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2012, 13:51 PM IST

London: Barcelona has claimed that Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, a Spanish doctor who has been banned for life for his role in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, has never been on the club`s staff or its payroll.

The Catalan giants, however, could not guarantee whether Del Moral had been engaged on an ad hoc basis by the medical department.

On the official website of the sports and medical center at which Del Moral has been based, it is claimed that as well as working with Armstrong, he had also been a medical adviser to football clubs Barcelona and Valencia.

Del Moral, who is based in Valencia, similar to Armstrong, was given a lifetime ban from sport by US anti-doping officials (USADA) over his role in systematic doping at the US Postal cycling team during the period Armstrong won a record number of Tour de France titles.

According to the Telegraph, when questioned if the claims on the website, which are believed to relate to the 2003-04 season, could be confirmed, the four-times European champions responded by stating that they had searched employment records and could confirm that Del Moral was never on the staff payroll.

However, Barca said they could not guarantee that Del Moral had not been engaged on an ad hoc basis by the medical department during that period, or been used by individual players, the paper said.

Barcelona added that there has since been an overhaul of the club’s medical system and personnel, it added.

When asked who ran the club’s medical affairs at the time, Barcelona failed to respond, it concluded.