Fourth Spanish cyclist fails drugs test: UPDATED Fullana admits guilt

Women's triple mountain biking world champion and Olympic medallist suspended

by Mark Appleton   October 2, 2010  

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A fourth Spanish cyclist has been provisionally suspended for suspected doping offences, the UCI has announced today.

Margarita Fullana is a triple mountain biking world champion and bronze medallist in the discipline at the Sydney Olympics.

The UCI has advised her that she is provisionally suspended following a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Montreal indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from her in an out of competition test on 30 August 2010.

The suspension will remain in force until a hearing panel convened by the Spanish Cycling Federation determines whether she has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.

Like all provisionally suspended athletes she will have the right to request and attend the analysis of her B sample.
 

UPDATE: In a statement on her website, Fullana has admitted that she is guilty of the doping offence for which she has been suspended. She said:

"Through an article in the sports press I learned that I have provided a positive sample in the out of competition anti-doping test I underwent in Mont Saint Anne.

I have done the most stupid thing in my life. I have had a terrible year physically and mentally. Throughout my sporting life I have never resorted to illegal substances. I never needed to as I had sufficient strength and determination.

But this year, in spite of trying and trying nothing was going right for me and I had this damned opportunity to get hold of a substance, but in such a small quantity that it made no difference. I did not improve and my world championship race went like all the others: badly, horrendously.

I have been stupid, but I am brave enough to recognise it. I have spent so many years working to build a sporting career and now through one error that I have made, I have put my foot in it.

I can only say that I am sorry, I feel I have cheated you, I have cheated myself more. I will accept my sanction and turn the page. Life goes on and now it’s up to me to continue fighting in another area of my life. I am grateful for the support of my sponsors and regret the damage I have caused to them. I will not be making any further comment and now it's time for me to forget this episode as quickly as possible."
 

6 user comments

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Like the "I only had a little bit" line. Quality. Didn't have enough to make a difference? Just enough to get caught. Clever!

An idiot as well as a cheat then.

posted by Mat Brett [1904 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 13:05

2 Likes

Rare to see an athlete just come out and say they did it though.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [448 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 14:12

3 Likes

You gotta feel sorry for her really, caught the only time she used such a small amount that wouldn't help and didn't even inhale, I'm sure she would have admitted it had it helped her to win anything. Angry

posted by martincashman [22 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 14:42

1 Like

In 2007 she was deemed "unfit" to compete in the World Championshps due to high haematocrit levels, though she never tested positive for any banned substances. She apparently put the reading down to faulty analysis of her sample and to the effects of drugs taken to help her recover from a broken arm.

For me it's telling that she claims to be brave, yet refuses to comment further on the issue, just wants to forget and move on, leaving a shedload of unanswered questions hanging in the air. How about she spills the beans on how she got the juice, where, when etc? That *would* be brave, and might actually do something to address the supply issue, at least. As it is, seems like the old omerta is kicking in, - quelle surprise - she's gone to ground and, admission aside, is not prepared to do anything to help a sport that has done so much for her.

posted by Mark Appleton [554 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 14:58

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Well good for her to own up and not go through protracted denials.

That in itself does a lot to help the sport. There have been so many long drawn-out protestations of innocence followed by admission that nobody believes them any more.

Contador can claim what he likes but nobody believes him - I don't mean that he is telling the truth or not, simply that people make up their minds independently of whatever the athlete is saying.

If she makes a small reversal or halt to that trend she will have done cycling a major service.

I feel sorry for her and I love the use of the italicised 'damned'. It's positively Faustian.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [540 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 18:46

1 Like

seems a very honest statement - i think the difference is that the big boys have money and lawyers to argue over chimeric twins, tainted meat, poor lab testing... Sad

posted by fiftyacorn [91 posts]
3rd October 2010 - 12:37

2 Likes