Spains dope-tainted Nuria Fernandez was named the countrys best female athlete for 2010 despite links to a doping cartel.

Madrid – European 1500-metre champion Nuria Fernandez has been named Spain's best female athlete for 2010 by the Spanish Athletics Federation, despite being implicated in the anti-doping investigation Operation Galgo.

The award given on Saturday was based on a vote of athletes held on November 30, days before Spain's Civil Guard announced they had uncovered an alleged doping ring of 14 individuals including Fernandez's coach Manuel Pascua.

Pascua has been charged with harming the public's health for his alleged dealing in performance-enhancing substances.

Fernandez did not attend the awards ceremony. – Sapa-AP