By VeloNews Interactive Wire Services, Copyright AFP 2001
Spain’s Olympic track cycling champion Juan Llaneras said that on Monday he would take legal action after being cleared of doping. Llaneras, who won the men’s points race title at the Sydney Olympics and holds five world titles, had been suspended on September 30 after, in official parlance, testing “non-negative” for the endurance-boosting drug EPO at the world championships in Antwerp, where he won the silver medal.
But last week the UCI cleared him of all accusations after analysis of a second urine sample.
“I’ve lived through a nightmare,” Llaneras said. “I was innocent and I had to prove my innocence. The damage done is not only financial, it’s also the harm that has been done to my honor, my family and my son.”
He said he and his lawyer had decided to begin legal proceedings against the bodies who had “dirtied my name” at “all levels of responsibility”, although he stopped short of identifying exactly who would be affected.
His lawyer, Andreu Garriga, said: “There was a false positive. Either the urine wasn’t his and it was altered or the analysis was done badly or the methods used aren’t reliable.”
Llaneras said that unlike at last year’s Sydney Olympics, where a urine and blood test was used to detect EPO, the UCI only used a urine test which has been criticized by the International Olympic Committee. The IOC agreed earlier this month to continue using the combined test of urine and blood to detect EPO.
Copyright AFP 2001