Eladio Jimenez: 'I’m innocent'
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Eladio Jimenez: 'I’m innocent'

by Ben Atkins at 7:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Spanish rider Eladio Jimenez Sanchez has protested his innocence after being provisionally suspended for doping last week. The Spaniard, who rides for Portuguese team Centro Ciclismo de Loulé – Louletano, tested non-negative for synthetic EPO after his stage victory in stage 6 of the Volta a Portugal on August 12th; a race in which he went on to finish 6th overall.

"I did nothing,” he told his local newspaper La Tribuna de Salamanca, “but I know it is difficult to demonstrate it, because there have been similar cases. I can only hope for a bit of luck and the second analysis is negative."

Jimenez says there is one thing that he doesn’t understand: "if the collection of urine occurred in 12 August, why wait until November 16 to perform the control and moreover, why take so long to communicate the result? It's something I do not understand."

Jimenez is expected to request the analysis of the B-sample, but is currently consulting with his lawyer and the Association of Professional Cyclists. If the positive test is confirmed it will likely mean retirement for the 33-year-old. This is not his first brush with a doping scandal, as he was named in the list of alleged clients of Eufamiano Fuentes in “Operaciaon Puerto”.

The Spaniard has provisionally signed with US team Rock Racing, where he was to join a former teammate – and fellow alleged Puerto name. "It's hard for me,” he said, “especially because I was looking forward to riding with Francesco Mancebo again.”

Retirement would be a bitter pill for him to have to swallow: “Ending is the hardest after I've been through; after all I have fought for this sport!” he lamented. “Moreover, last year they made eight unannounced controls at home and never said anything."

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