David Etxebarria — the former Spanish classics specialist who was marginalized during the Operación Puerto doping investigation of 2006 — criticized Alberto Contador in a series of searing Twitter postings.
Etxebarria, now 37, was forced into retirement in the wake of the Puerto scandal, though he was never formally charged by Spanish authorities or banned by cycling officials for his alleged links to Puerto ringleader Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.
The messages were written in short-hand and abbreviations, but Etxebarria lays into Contador for complaining now when he did little to help other ex-teammates who were also arguing that they too were victims of injustice.
“AC (Contador) you cry for justice, but when it’s benevolent, you cry that you don’t believe in that justice … when you had ex-teammates who asked to be judged and were not, you didn’t say a thing,” he wrote. “You cry that you don’t believe in the anti-doping system, but when you won the ‘Rasmussen tour,’ you were silent.”
Etxebarria, who was one of Contador’s teammates at the doomed Liberty Seguros/Astana team of 2006, didn’t have kind words for the embattled three-time Tour de France champion now fending off doping allegations.
“You’re the classiest guy I’ve seen racing and hopefully you will tomorrow … but do not cry when before you remained silent,” he continued. “You cry of a tabloid press when the majority has been and is affectionate toward you as anyone with a similar case.”
Etxebarria’s name appeared in some of the Puerto documents as part of the sweeping police raid in 2006, but he was never formally charged or banned. Stained by the Puerto accusations, Etxebarria could not find another contract and subsequently retired.
The comments have created a buzz in the Spanish cycling community, which has publicly supported Contador in his bid to fend off doping allegations after testing positive for clenbuterol.