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Marta Dominguez

This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Domínguez and the second or maternal family name is Azpeleta.
Marta Domínguez
Personal information
Full name Marta Domínguez Azpeleta
Nationality Spanish
Born (1975-11-03) November 3, 1975 (age 38)
Palencia, Spain
Height 1.63 metres (5.3 ft)
Weight 52 kg (115 lb)
Country Spain
Sport Athletics
Marta Domínguez
Designated Spanish Senator
for Palencia
Assumed office
13 December 2011

Marta Domínguez Azpeleta (born 3 November 1975) is a Spanish runner. She was accused of drug dealing and doping but later acquitted[1] (see below), only to be accused of doping, once again, in 2013.

Dominguez currently competes mainly in 3000 m steeplechase, a distance in which she was the 2009 world champion. She has represented Spain three times at the Summer Olympics and has competed at the World Championships on six occasions.

Marta Domínguez had her first successes over 5000 metres: she won the bronze at the 1998 European Athletics Championships and reached the global podium at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics, winning the silver medal. She scored a gold medal double in 2002 by taking a 3000 metres win at the European Athletics Indoor Championships, before going on to become European champion at the 2002 European Championships. She achieved silver medals in the same events at the IAAF World Indoor Championships and 2003 World Championships in Athletics the following year. She retained her European crown at the 2006 European Athletics Championships.

From 2007 onwards she began to experiment with other events and she won the senior race at the 2007 European Cross Country Championships in Toro, Spain. Domínguez switched to the steeplechase in 2008 and ran in the inaugural Olympic race at the 2008 Beijing Games, although she failed to finish. The 2009 World Championships in Athletics saw a reversal of fortunes as she won the gold medal, and she then took European silver in the event in 2010. As the defending world champion, she was given a free entry into the 2011 World Championships in Athletics but had to decline due to her pregnancy.

In December 2010, Dominguez was arrested for her connection in a doping ring as part of Operación Galgo.[2]

In April 2011, Dominguez was acquitted of these charges when it was found the substances were not illegal.[3]

In May 2013, it was reported that Dominguez had failed a bio-passport test in 2009 and is facing temporary suspension, pending an investigation. [4]


In the past she was adept to 5000 metres and 10,000. In 1998 Marta won her first championship medal in the European Championships in Budapest in the 5000 metres, winning bronze behind Sonia O'Sullivan, who won gold and Gabriela Szabo, who took silver. In 2002 she won these events at the European indoor and outdoor championships, and won her second straight title in 2006 in the 5000 metres at the European outdoor championship (also obtaining the Championship Record). She also has silver medals from the World Championships in 2001 and 2003, and she was named Spanish Athlete of the Year in both years.

A six-time national champion in the women's 5000 metres, Domínguez has competed in two Olympics, in 1996 and 2000. She missed the 2004 Summer Olympics due to injury and returned in 2005 with a 14th place at the World Championships.

In 2006, after winning the gold medal at the European Championship in the 5000 metres, she became the most decorated Spanish athlete ever. She also broke the Spanish record at the 10,000 metres at the same event, where she finished 7th. In addition to her track career she has competed in cross country running, winning the Cross de Atapuerca in 2006 and taking the title at the European Cross Country Championships the following year. She ended 2007 with a win at Palencia's most prominent international athletics competition, the Cross Internacional de Venta de Baños.[5]

During the 2008 season, Domínguez started running the 3000 metre steeplechase, breaking the Spanish record in her first race. Contesting the event at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Domínguez was among the leaders with 250 metres to go, when she clipped a barrier and fell to the track. She did not finish the race.

Domínguez beat her own 3000 metre steeplechase national record by over five seconds at a track meet in Málaga in June 2009. Following her improvements, she downplayed talk of medals at the 2009 World Championships, stating that she was only focusing on improving her technique and that Olympic Champion Gulnara Samitova-Galkina was a strong favourite.[6] She then went on to win the gold medal in the event.

In 2010, she ran at the Cursa de Bombers in Barcelona and finished in third, despite suffering from an illness in the week prior to the event.[7] In July 2010 she won a silver medal at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. She and Yuliya Zarudneva engaged in a duel for the title, but it was the Russian who prevailed, reversing their positions at the World Championships the previous year. Domínguez was not disappointed to lose, however, saying "I can't complain as I have been European champion twice in the 5000m... It's impossible to win always."[8] Domínguez fell pregnant that year and ruled herself out of the 2011 season in order to focus on starting a family with her husband Diego Bercianos.[9]

Doping arrest

In December 2010, Dominguez, together with 13 other people including her coach, were arrested during "Operación Galgo" (Operation Greyhound), a major criminal investigation into sports doping carried out by the Guardia Civil. Her home was raided and several items were taken including her laptop, a briefcase and a box. Dominguez was released on charges of trafficking and distribution of doping substances. She was also suspended from her position as vice president of the Spanish Athletics Federation. According to the newspaper, Público, the leader of the alleged ring was Dr Eufemiano Fuentes and his sister Yolanda, the former also being at the centre of the notorious Operación Puerto doping ring in 2006.[10] The lack of prosecutions arising from Operación Puerto led to criticism of the Spanish authorities for an apparently ineffective approach to doping in sport, and prompted the Spanish government to pass tougher anti-doping legislation that now makes the supply and use of performance-enhancing drugs illegal, with penalties including jail terms.[11]

According to El País, the investigations conducted by the Guardia Civil under Operación Galgo have also directly implicated Dominguez in the Operación Puerto doping ring. A blood bag seized during the Puerto investigation, and which Eufemiano Fuentes had recorded as belonging to an athlete whom he codenamed "Rosa", accompanied by her mobile telephone number, was attributed to Marta Dominguez.[12]

The judge later acquitted her when it was found the substances that were believed to be illegal were in fact legal.[13]

Personal bests


Year Competition Venue Position Event
Representing  Spain
1994 World Junior Championships Lisbon, Portugal 2nd 1500 m
1995 World Indoor Championships Barcelona, Spain 6th 3000 m
World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden semi-final 1500 m
1996 European Indoor Championships Stockholm, Sweden 3rd 3000 m
Olympic Games Atlanta, Georgia, United States heats 1500 m
1997 World Indoor Championships Paris, France 5th 3000 m
European U23 Championships Turku, Finland 3rd 5000 m
1998 European Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 3rd 3000 m
European Championships Budapest, Hungary 3rd 5000 m
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 9th 5000 m
2000 European Indoor Championships Ghent, Belgium 3rd 3000 m
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia heats 5000 m
European Cross Country Championships Vilamoura, Portugal 14th Short race
2001 World Indoor Championships Lisbon, Portugal 4th 3000 m
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 2nd 5000 m
2002 European Indoor Championships Vienna, Austria 1st 3000 m
European Championships Munich, Germany 1st 5000 m
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, England 2nd 3000 m
World Championships Paris, France 2nd 5000 m
2004 World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 4th 3000 m
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 14th 5000 m
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 1st 5000 m
European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 7th 10,000 m
2007 European Indoor Championships Birmingham, England 2nd 3000 m
European Cross Country Championships Toro, Spain 1st Senior race
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China DNF 3000 m st.
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 1st 3000 m st.
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 2nd 3000 m st.


External links

  • Official Website
  • Career overview from 2009 (IAAF)
  • Club de Fans

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