Alejandro Blanco denies having asked Catalonia for 400,000 euros for the Olympic candidacy

Alejandro Blanco, president of the COE. / EFE

Winter Games 2030

The president of the COE, accused of secretly negotiating with pro-independence leaders, including Artur Mas, does not rule out going to court in the face of "false and biased" information

Amador Gomez

Three days after the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) buried the joint candidacy of Catalonia and Aragon for the 2030 Winter Games, its president, Alejandro Blanco, denied having secretly negotiated with pro-independence leaders, including Artur Mas, and request 400,000 euros from the Generalitat to, allegedly, carry out "opaque contracts", according to a report by the Civil Guard collected by 'El Confidencial'. «Faced with the false and tendentious statements published, which try to discredit the COE and me as its president, I reserve the right to demand, for the COE and for myself, the clarifications, rectifications and compensations that may be required by law, including by judicially, ”announced this Friday the top leader of the Spanish Olympic Committee through a statement after being accused of irregular behavior.

“At no time have the Spanish Olympic Committee or I myself received or claimed a subsidy or any amount for the steps taken for the aforementioned candidacy; Quite the contrary, these efforts have generated expenses that have been borne by the COE, charged to its own private resources," says Alejandro Blanco, who, "for greater abundance," also transcribed a statement made this Friday by the person who was secretary of Sports of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Gerard Figueras.

«The COE never asked for a single euro from the Generalitat. Not one. Nor did the Generalitat, while I was in charge of the General Secretariat of Sport, transfer a single euro to the COE. The 400,000 euros that appear in the science fiction published in this communication medium ('El Confidencial') refer to the amount that, from the Generalitat, we commented we could try to budget for 2020, in the event that it had to go to the Tokyo 2020 Games to promote the candidacy, something that never happened, ”said Gerard Figueras, current Secretary of Foreign Action of the Generalitat and former position of the governments of Quim Torra and Pere Aragonès accused of various charges of corruption.

According to 'El Confidencial', the Civil Guard, in the framework of the investigation against the alleged massive diversion of public funds to the independence movement, now points to the "opaque" nature of the money invested in the Olympic bid, "not being able to rule out an embezzlement of public funds. The President of the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, also announced this Friday that he does not rule out going to ordinary justice in the face of the "obvious manipulations" of the Spanish candidacy frustrated by political confrontations. "We know that it constitutes a crime," Lambán proclaimed in reference to the videos that the COE has leaked of the meetings between the technicians of Catalonia and Aragon and that are considered manipulated. "Catalonia acted as the sole owner of the candidacy and Aragon was reserved a role of mere troupe," lamented the socialist leader, accused by Blanco of breaking the technical agreement approved by the COE.

"No fucking case of Zaragoza"

According to 'El Confidencial', during a meeting held on November 7, 2019 in Vilanova i la Geltrú between Alejandro Blanco and senior officials of the Generalitat, the president of the COE assured that he had the approval of both King Felipe VI and the president of the Government then in office, Pedro Sánchez. The president of the COE argued that the central government considered it convenient to launch the Olympic bid to calm the situation in Catalonia. This medium ensures that Alejandro Blanco stated that although the central government "would cover a large part of the expenses", the disbursement of 400,000 euros was necessary, which was accepted by the leaders of the Generalitat for estimating that the 2030 Games would be a boost to the secessionism "No fucking case of Zaragoza," Gerard Figueras allegedly said during that meeting.

«During the process of gestation and development of the 2030 winter Olympic bid, I have held meetings, public and private, with political leaders, social, business and trade union agents, both from Catalonia and Aragon, in order to expand as much as possible possible base of support for the candidacy," recalled Blanco, accused of being "an ally of independence" by Lambán. «Alejandro Blanco has always insisted on equal conditions, although in Catalonia he never talked about it. It is clear that they wanted an exclusive Olympic Games, leaving Aragón as a comparsa”, insisted the president of Aragón, who has also recently had a dialectical confrontation with Pau Gasol.

The legendary Spanish player lamented that "attempts have been made to politicize the Olympic bid, especially from the Aragon side", and Lambán then called on Gasol to "be better informed and not assume that the COE obeys strict sporting criteria". "Catalonia has had exemplary behavior and of which I am proud," said the eldest of the Gasols. "Today we learned that, indeed, Catalonia had done an impeccable job," the Aragonese president launched ironically this Friday.

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