Ezequiel Mosquera admits that a suspension would end his career
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Ezequiel Mosquera admits that a suspension would end his career

by Ben Atkins at 12:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Doping
 
Vuelta runner-up continues to live under the shadow of Hydroxyethyl starch positive

ezequiel mosqueraEzequiel Mosquera was presented to the Dutch media as a new member of the Vacxansoleil-DCM ProTeam in Rotterdam today, but the Spanish rider still awaits the verdict on his non-negative test for Hydroxyethyl starch. The 35-year-old returned the sample after finishing in second place in last year’s Vuelta a España, when he was riding for the now-folded Xacobeo-Galicia team.

As his case rumbles on Mosquera’s positive, and the potential two-year suspension that could come with it, means that a sword of Damocles currently hangs over his career with the Dutch team.

Hydroxyethyl starch is a substance whose medical application is to prevent shock after severe blood loss by increasing blood volume. While this fact potentially makes it performance enhancing, it is reputedly also used to disguise EPO use.

Mosquera was provisionally suspended after the positive test was announced but, since his case has not been resolved he has not been put on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suspended list; consequently he was declared eligible to race and so rode some end of season criteriums in Spain back in October.

“I expect it soon,” he said to De Telegraaf on the subject of his ongoing case. “I’ve prepared myself, my lawyers will deal with the case.”

With the verdict still not in sight Mosquera is unsure of his future; should he be sanctioned over the case though, at his age he concedes that it would mark the end of his career in cycling.

"I can only wait. It's not a pleasant situation,” he explained, “but I'm learning to live with it; and I maintain that I am innocent. My family and training partners are pulling me through but if I really do get a suspension, I’ll stop. I'm 35; I’ve suffered a lot of damage to my reputation. Then it would time to do other things in my life.”

Working on the assumption that he will be acquitted, Mosquera will be riding his first Tour de France this summer; he will then aim towards his main target of the season: one place better in the Vuelta a España.

“That would be my first [target],” he said of the French tour. “The Vuelta is the main objective, but I'm going to ride both tours.”

Having ridden for Spanish or Portuguese teams for his entire career, and rarely racing outside the Iberian peninsular, Mosquera finds the atmosphere in the Dutch team very different; he insists that he likes what he finds though.

"I like the atmosphere,” he said, “it's very familiar.

“I don’t know many of the riders very well,” he admitted, “the last few years I’ve ridden different races."

One thing is for sure, Mosquera would like to have his case resolved as quickly as possible. "My patience is being severely tested," he said.

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