21 Jul 2012

Spain's Mullera dropped over doping emails

6:41 am on 21 July 2012

Doping controversies have resulted in two more athletes being suspended from their national Olympic teams.

French runner Nour-Eddine Gezzar will miss the London Olympics after he was provisionally suspended for failing a dope test and Spain dropped steeplechaser Angel Mullera from their Olympic team while an investigation into a possible doping offence takes place.

Gezzar, who came fourth in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at the European championships, failed a dope test for erythropoietin or EPO.

Gezzar had been selected to represent France at the Games starting next week. He has already been suspended for two years in 2006 for testing positive for nandrolone and finasteride.

Mullera was called to Madrid to explain himself to the authorities after a newspaper published an email exchange between an address in his name and an unidentified doctor in which they discussed a possible doping plan last year.

The Spanish sports federeation RFEA and the government-run Sports Council were prompted into action by the newspaper revelations, despite having been in possession of the emails from an anonymous source since the beginning of the year.

The RFEA says Mullera, who's 28, had passed all the doping tests carried out on him this year.

The ruling came shortly before Spanish government ministers approved the first draft of a new law designed to help the fight against doping in sport, which is designed to bring the country into line with World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines.

Some of Spain's highest-profile athletes have been implicated in doping cases in recent years, most notably Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, and there is a perception that the country does not do enough to tackle drug cheats.