Dominguez cleared of second charge in doping probe

Madrid: World steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez has been provisionally cleared by a judge of administering drugs without a prescription, a Madrid court said on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old Dominguez, one of Spain`s best-known athletes who was a vice president of the country`s athletics federation (RFEA) until she was caught up in a doping probe in December, was accused of administering a banned drug to her training partner.

However, Judge Mercedes Perez Barrios ruled there was "no rational evidence" she had committed a criminal act.

A third charge against the athlete, of supplying a banned substance, was provisionally dropped in April. She remains under investigation for alleged tax irregularities.

Dominguez, who has denied any wrongdoing, was one of 14 people taken in for questioning by Spain`s Civil Guard in December suspected of involvement in the trafficking of drugs and crimes against public health.

The doping probe, known as "Operation Greyhound", led to sports doctors, pharmacists, coaches and other figures from the athletics world being detained.

The judge`s latest decision prompted leading figures in Spanish sport, including Olympic Committee (COE) president Alejandro Blanco and athletics federation (RFEA) president Jose Maria Odriozola, to voice their support for Dominguez, who gave birth to her first child in May.

"That this all turned out to be nothing is great news because Marta is a sporting icon," Odriozola was quoted as saying in a leading daily.

"I hope she returns to training once she has recovered from her pregnancy," he added.

"London is just around the corner and I would be delighted to count on her for the next Olympic Games."

Bureau Report

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