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Rijkaard wants strong response
The Barcelona coach is furious at doping allegations in a French newspaper.
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2006 21:36 GMT

A John Travolta fan? Frank Rijkaard wants the focus on the field (Picture: GALLO/ GETTY)

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has said that the Spanish giants should react in the strongest possible fashion to accusations in French newspaper Le Monde that the club has links to a doctor accused of masterminding a doping network.

Fellow Spanish club Real Madrid who also named in the report.
Both clubs have denied the report which alleged the clubs' had links to Eufemiano Fuentes, a sports doctor who has been investigated for allegedly running a doping and blood doping network.

But Rijkaard went a step further.

"The club should take steps to make sure that justice is done. You can't just come out and make these accusationsm” he said.
  
"It's a pity that sportsmen who do their jobs honestly are spoken about in this way. We should get organised and take steps (to counter the accusations)."
  
In an interview with Le Monde Fuentes said that Barcelona, knowing that he specialised in helping to "optimise performances, avoid injuries and delay the onset of fatigue", tried to hire him twice.
  
"I don't want to discuss the second offer. The first was in 1996," said Fuentes.

"(They wanted) the same things that all athletes want: medical supervision, testing and help to optimise their performances, avoid injuries and delay the feeling of fatigue."

"I worked with first and second division Spanish clubs. I worked with several clubs simultaneously, sometimes directly with the footballers and indirectly by giving advice to the club doctors," he added.

Asked if he worked with Barcelona or Real Madrid, he replied: "I can't say. I've had death threats. I've been told that if I say certain things then me or members of my family could have serious problems.
  
"I've been threatened three times. I don't want to be threatened a fourth time."

Source:
Agencies
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