Spanish authorities have reopened a probe aimed at investigating whether Éric Abidal received a black market liver transplant in 2012 because new evidence has come to light, according to AFP.
The former Barcelona defender, who is now the club’s technical secretary, got the transplant while battling cancer. Previously, the National Transplant Organization, a part of the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, stated they could not find any irregularities in the case. However, Spanish courts are now saying they have seen new evidence that has convinced them to reopen the matter.
Spanish media published tapes of a phone conversation in which former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell seemed to suggest he was involved in an illegal purchase of an organ.
The donor was Abidal’s cousin Gerard Armand, who says he did not receive any financial compensation for the procedure. Last October, a judge denied requests to have Armand submit to medical testing. However, the Barcelona magistrate in reviewing the decision found possible anomalies in the donation procedure. He ruled that there are enough possible irregularities that an investigation should proceed, and Armand could be summoned as a witness.
Armand, Abidal, Rosell, and the Spanish organ donation organization deny any wrongdoing.