Barredo says cycling is cleaner than ever
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Barredo says cycling is cleaner than ever

by VeloNation Press at 7:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Carlos BarredoVuelta a España stage winner Carlos Barredo has said that cycling is in a very good position in the battle against the use of banned substances, with the Spaniard believing that strong progress has been made. He traces the turning point back to the Festina Affair of 1998, saying that those providing the backing came to see that things had to change.

“The sponsors realized that the only way of working is being honest. If a rider is doping, that affects your image. The sponsors can not play with this issue,” he told Marca.

"Cycling is now cleaner than ever," he elaborated. "Although it might not seem like it, racing in recent years has been the cleanest. Cyclists have plenty of controls, we are constantly monitored. It is impossible to cheat.”

Barredo welcomes the fact that there are so many tests in cycling, but also says that he doesn’t like that the sport is labelled as the dirty one because of the number of positive tests. He recognises that the more tests that are carried out, the more riders will be caught; other sports dig far less, and consequently don’t face the same number of big headlines.

“We are the guinea pigs. This sport is the most watched of all and yet only negative things come out,” he said. He rejects the notion that any systematic doping takes place at this point in time. “I don’t know of anyone who forces you to take something, that never happened to me,” he claimed. “There are no organized teams as might have occurred before.” However he does concede that some riders have been, “badly advised by managers and clinicians.”

In Barredo’s opinion, the much publicised case involving Alberto Contador is, in all likelihood, an error. He said that he tends to believe the multiple Tour winner when he says he didn’t take Clenbuterol, and hopes that it is resolved promptly. “I hope justice is done soon, it’s a very tough situation for him.”

“We must continue along the same path as in recent times,” he said, when asked what was the solution to doping cases. “Accepting that cleanliness is the only way…if not, all will be lost. He who cheats is not guaranteed anything in the end, the good always win.”

The future Rabobank rider recently learned that he will miss the first two months of next season as a result of his altercation with Rui Costa during the Tour de France. The two had a dispute before the finish and, after crossing the line, Barredo rushed Costa and struck him with his unclipped front wheel.

Both riders were fined; Barredo was then handed a two month ban last week, meaning he will have to wait until March to make his debut with the team.

He realises that he behaved improperly and because of that, he said the UCI sanction was a ‘fair’ one. "I made a mistake in their day and now I have to serve the sentence," he admitted.

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