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Spanish authorities dismiss claim of organ trafficking for Abidal liver transplant

Abidal has always maintained that his cousin Gerard donated a liver to aid his fight against cancer.

Image: AFP7

THE LIVER TRANSPLANT for cancer-stricken ex-Barcelona footballer Eric Abidal was carried out according to the law, Spanish health authorities stated today, dismissing reports of organ trafficking.

The transplant “took place according to the law in place and good clinical practice,” said a statement from the Spanish health ministry’s body responsible for monitoring organ donations.

It noted the Barcelona clinic where the transplant took place had the birth certificates and other documents of both the organ recipient and the donor.

Health authorities launched an investigation into allegations, by the El Confidencial publication, that Abidal’s organ transplant may have been illegal. The site reported that wiretaps from a probe into corruption involving then-Barcelona president Sandro Rosell indicated that the club may have illegally procured a liver for Abidal.

Rosell denied the report in an interview published by El Mundo. Abidal, a former France international, received a liver transplant in April 2012. He resumed his playing career a year later before retiring in 2014.

Now Barcelona’s sport director, Abidal maintains that his cousin Gerard was the actual donor.

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