Shocking. Without a doubt, his statement made a noise. Mariano Puerta lived his moment of glory in 2005, when he reached the Roland Garros final, but he quickly found himself immersed in a positive doping for a prohibited substance. Now, 15 years after that limit situation in his professional career, he revealed that he lied in the trial before the TAS to avoid a greater penalty.
In a newspaper note The nation, the former Argentine tennis player, who ranked No. 9 in the world, experienced a special case in the ATP world. In that French Open, Puerta surprised everyone by climbing to the final, in which he lost to the Spanish Rafael Nadal, very young at the time, to win the Manacor first of the record for 12 titles in that Grand Slam event. .
The Argentine went from glory to sunset when months later he tested positive. Puerta was given an eight-year suspension and later reduced to two. They intimidated him to return $ 887,000 in prizes and he was targeted. Now, 15 years after that final, of that sanction, he admitted that the explanation he gave before the courts through which his case passed was “a lie”.
“The explanation we used as a strategy was a lie. But I didn’t get a sporting advantage. I don’t want to be seen as a cheat anymore, ”Puerta told him from Miami, where he lives. And he admitted that this decision was “irresponsible” on his part and that it was a strategy of his legal representatives, including Eduardo Moliné O’Connor, vice-president of the Supreme Court of Justice and leader of the Argentine Tennis Association, member of the International Tennis Federation and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS), between 1998 and 2006.
What had Puerta’s public explanation of doping been? He had said that shortly before the final in Paris, he had a glass contaminated with prohibited substances in the players’ restaurant. How did it happen, as you have said so far? The actress Sol Estevanez, her partner, drank water with drops of Effortil, medicine for menstrual pain, that contained ethylephrine. According to Puerta, when she went to the bathroom, he returned to the table already changed to play and poured water in that same glass.
Ethylephrine treats low blood pressure, but it also has the effect of being a powerful cardiorespiratory stimulant and is therefore included in the list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Puerta did not stay in that story that knocks down her 2005 strategy, but she tried a new explanation and reveals her collaborators at the time.
“Before leaving for a Challenger in Chile, I say to Darío Lecman, his physical trainer, former Olympic weightlifter: ‘I forgot to buy or I can’t find the bottle of caffeine and ginseng’. And he tells me that he had a friend who worked in a laboratory, that I could tell him to do them, that he stayed after hours and we got less money. I tell him yes and I’m still normal. Before the trip to Chile I grab the bottle and start the year. It was a pill that I didn’t I always used it, it depended on how I felt. If I was fine and I played against someone who gave me a little time, I didn’t take it, “said Puerta.
“I always had blind confidence in my team. I could never have thought that I would do something that would hurt me, because anything that was bad for me would be bad for him. I will not think that he could shoot himself. I went all year long to anti-doping controls. I came to Roland Garros with a ranking that I had not had for years. After what I have lived, am I going to do something on purpose? Impossible! “he added.
Puerta said he was relieved when they discovered that “seven pills in a bottle had traces of ethylephrine.” Why didn’t you tell what happened? “The one who made the pills, I never knew him, none of the family wanted to know,” he explained. And he continued: “We couldn’t do anything because the pills had been bought, I don’t know how to say it … it was not legal. There was no invoice. My lawyers thought it was not convenient from a strategic point of view” –
Meanwhile, Andrés Schneiter, Puerta’s coach at that Roland Garros, appreciated that he said that “the glass was a lie” and sowed doubts about what happened. “When he won the semifinal, Mariano invited Darío to Paris. There were things that escaped me, because they were alone for a long time and I can’t tell you anymore. At that time I didn’t have it with me anymore,” he said. “Mariano took a pill of caffeine with ginseng that we used to activate half an hour before the games. It was made by a laboratory. Mariano had received five controls before Roland Garros. Why did he test positive in the final? That is the part that does not close me for anything of the world”.
Thus, over the years, Puerta decided to admit that he lied at the trial. And that’s why she made noise again, already far from a court.