Spanish Athletes Dominate in ’08

It’s easy to determine that Spain has emerged as a sports powerhouse during 2008. Check out these recent results:

  1. Carlos Sastre won the Tour de France
  2. Nadal defeated #1-ranked Roger Federer at Wimbledon
  3. a European Cup win for Spanish soccer
  4. Over 60 medals in international sports during 2007

Some relate the string of success to the economic boom and Spain joining the European Union, which directly related to more investment in sports. Sport writer Oscar Fornet even claims that a diet more rich in protein is to blame. But, at the same time, it’s difficult to ignore the growing number of Spanish athletes that have been busted for doping.

Just today, Spanish cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno became the first athlete kicked out of the 2008 Olympics for doping. She joins a crowded list of Spanish dopers that includes Oscar Seville, Roberto Heras, Manuel Beltrán, Iban Mayo–and that’s only a short list of cyclist recently implicated of doping. And, let’s not forget about Operación Puerto, an international doping scandal that originated in Spain.

Athletes from other countries have been busted, too. But, it seems that the Spanish are dominating this area of sport, too. Is there a connection?

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