Colombian athlete Digna Luz Murillo asserted that her removal from the Spanish track and field team was an act of racism, El Tiempo reports.
Digna Luz Murillo was removed from the team on Saturday after Spain’s track and field federation (RFEA) determined that she had continued training with coach Manuel Pascua who was recently banned from working with Spainish athletes after he admitted he had planned to dope his athletes.
Murillo appeared in a photograph speaking with Pascua the day before the Spanish team departed for the Championship of Europe tournament in Stockholm.
Murillo has contested the accusation that she contiuned to train with Pascua. “I know perfectly well that I cannot train with him and I have not done so in recent times,” she said.
Regarding the photograph, Murillo maintained that the meeting between her and Pascua was incidental. She claimed she was training alone with her new coach, Rafael Blanquer, when Pascua arrived because his daughters also trained there. “I greeted him. Nothing more. The guys who were there coaching basketball can testify.”
Murillo said that her inability to find a credible reason for her removal has led her to conclude that her dismissal was motivated by racism. “I don’t know if they have done this because I am black or because I am of foreign origin, because I have been training for nearly a month only with my coach Rafael Blanquer. I think it is a racist act, otherwise I cannot explain it.”
Murillo finished first in the 100 meter in Spain this year.