Marga Fullana provisionally suspended for EPO use, admits guilt
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Marga Fullana provisionally suspended for EPO use, admits guilt

by VeloNation Press at 12:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Mountain Biking
Another big blow for Spanish cycling

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that former mountain biking world champion Marga Fullana has been provisionally suspended for EPO use.  The news comes on the heels of three other high-profile Spanish riders being announced as testing positive in as many days.  Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, Vuelta a Espana runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera and his teammate David Garcia represent the other three cyclists.

The WADA accredited laboratory in Montreal reported an Adverse Analytical Finding to the sport's governing body prompting the move.

Fullana complained on her website that the news of her positive result had leaked out the the press before she was made aware of the situation.  However, the 38 year old then admitted that she had taken the substance following what has been a difficult period in her life.

"I made the stupidest mistake of my life," she said.  "I had a very bad year both physically and mentally.  I started the year with enthusiasm, but could not find my rhythm in any race," Fullana explained.

She said personal problems and a lack of results were what led her down the desperate and dark path of doping.  Fullana maintains that she had never used illegal drugs prior to this year.

The UCI said that the provisional suspension will remain in force until a hearing panel convened by the Spanish Cycling Federation, which would normally be held to determine whether an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules was committed.  Her admission to wrongdoing will likely speed up the process, since there should be no reason for her to request testing of her B sample.

Fullana claims she didn't take enough EPO to improve her performance, citing her continued poor results as proof of that.  She intends to take her punishment without a fight, and apologized to her sponsors and fans for her lapse in good judgment.


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