Athletic to extend Gurpegi deal
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Athletic Bilbao are preparing to renew Carlos Gurpegi's contract as a show of support.
Athletic Bilbao are preparing to renew Carlos Gurpegi's contract as yet another show of support for the player who has seen his ban for drug abuse upheld.
The 25-year-old midfielder tested positive for 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of the steroid nandrolone, in September 2002 and was given a two-year ban.
He was allowed to continue playing while appeals were lodged, but the High Court have now rejected the case and stated that Gurpegi must comply with the penalty.
Now Athletic are set to defend the player by offering him a new deal that will keep him attached to the club beyond the summer of 2008, when his ban ends.
A war of words has broken out after the Basque Country club's president Fernando Lamikiz hit out at what he sees as a great injustice.
The Athletic supremo condemned the Superior Sports Council (CSD) for the manner in which they carried out the tests.
"It is a laboratory without many resources and that has few qualifications," he said.
"One of the bags of urine disappeared and the samples were not taken from San Sebastian to Madrid in a refrigerator.
"They went through Valladolid and were carried in a plastic bag. They did four analysis and produced four different results, one of which was rejected as void.
"Athletic also received the results 99 days after the tests, when the normal time frame is ten days."