Mullera dropped over doping emails
Steeplechaser Angel Mullera has been dropped from the Spanish Olympic team while an investigation into a possible doping offence takes place, the country's athletics federation (RFEA) said on Friday.
The ruling came shortly before Spanish ministers approved the first draft of a new law designed to help the fight against doping in sport.
Mullera was called to Madrid to explain himself to the authorities on Thursday 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.
"This decision is independent of the possible opening of disciplinary proceedings and a suspension for failing to comply with our anti-doping regulations which...is being evaluated at the moment," the RFEA said in a statement.
The Spanish steeplechase champion from 2010 will be replaced by Sebastian Martos.
The RFEA and the government-run Sports Council (CSD) 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 federation said its legal department had advised against taking the matter further because it was not possible to know for sure who had sent the emails, and because there could have been some kind of manipulation.
The CSD's lawyers backed the stance for the same reasons.
The RFEA said Mullera, 28, had passed all the doping tests carried out on him this year.
Later on Friday, Spanish government ministers approved the first draft of a new anti-doping law which is designed to bring the country into line with World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) guidelines.
The main feature is to establish the independence of Spain's anti-doping agency.
"(The agency) will be independent of the administrative and public bodies, will organise and carry out anti-doping controls, and follow through with the punishment process," government minister Soraya Saenz de Santamariatold a news conference.
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.
The government said the new law was designed to help improve co-operation between the different bodies governing the country's sports. It is seen as an important part of Madrid's bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.