Le Monde slapped with damages after linking Real Madrid to doping

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French newspaper Le Monde will have to compensate Real Madrid with €300,000 over an article a Madrid court found to be defamatory, the Spanish club said Thursday.

The newspaper and the author of the story, Stéphane Mandard, were also ordered to pay club doctor Alfonso del Corral €30,000 for linking Real to Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, the heart of the Operation Puerto case, which implicated over 50 cyclists following raids in May 2006 that netted steroids, blood bags and blood doping equipment.

In addition, the newspaper is obliged to publish a correction of that information.

The court found Mandard had based his article on one single source of dubious credibility which never corroborated the existence of controversial documents to which he made reference in his piece.

In the article published on December 7, 2006, Le Monde said the Puerto scandal implicated four Spanish football clubs, including Real and Barcelona.

The newspaper also linked Valencia and Real Betis to Fuentes, one of five people initially arrested for his part in Puerto - Spain's biggest doping investigation. Fuentes refused to say if he worked with any of the other clubs.

A Barcelona court found in January last year that Le Monde and Mandard should pay damages to the Catalan club for the same article.

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