McQuaid: Spain must get its house in order

UCI President says "large percentage" of doping cases come from there

by Mark Appleton   October 2, 2010  

Pat McQuaid at the Tour Down Under (photo credit credit Santos Tour Down Under : John Veage).jpg

Pride comes before a fall, they say, and Spain’s proud recent sporting record has taken a battering in the past few days.

After a year during which the Iberian nation has all but monopolised the back pages – World Cup winners, Nadal’s Wimbledon and US Open wins (the latter completing his Grand Slam), Contador’s third Tour de France triumph and even Fernando Alonso’s current run of form – an unflattering spotlight has now been trained on the country’s attitude towards doping.

As a fourth Spanish cyclist in as many days tests positive for a banned substance – this time it’s the women’s triple mountain biking world champion and Olympic medallist Margarita Fullana who has now admitted to taking EPO – UCI President Pat McQuaid has questioned the resolve of the Spanish authorities to deal with the issue.

The Associated Press reports that he told journalists at the Road World Championships in Geelong: "There is a problem in Spain because ... a large percentage of our doping cases come from Spain. There doesn't seem to be, so far, the will to tackle that in Spain and that really needs to come from the government down."

"In relation to anti-doping, and in particular in relation to Spain and especially over the last couple of days in Spain, cycling has taken a big hit," McQuaid said. "We have over the past month sanctioned four big Spanish riders.

"The (Spanish) government needs to work with the sport. The government needs first of all to recognize there's a problem and I don't know that they actually recognize there's a problem.Then they need to sit down with the sport and put a lot of measures in place."

5 user comments

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He's just noticed that has he…

Whatever they're doing in Spain it seems to work when it comes to dominating the UCI's own rankings both the rider rankings and the national ones.

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Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 12:12

1 Like

id be interested to see what the results would be if the UCI removed all UCI points of riders that doped during a season? It seems unfair that they are allowed to keep points of dopers so end up with 12 riders when the UK only has 3 at the worlds?

posted by fiftyacorn [91 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 13:06


Fair enough Tony. Just as long as you don't start stripping points out of Fantasy Tour De France next year. It is meant to be fantasy after all.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1197 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 13:48


and they won the football world cup Thinking

after all Puerto wasn't just about cyclists.

and yes I am still bitter about how poor England were Angry

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 17:26

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Don't worry MercuryOne we won't do that! It would make things just too complicated even if we're only dealing with fantasy, to be fair to the UCI I can see how much more complicated it would be in real life to retrospectively start re-calculating points etc. Although I can't help feeling that they are potentially making things really difficult for themselves with the announcment that the sporting value criteria for being a Pro Tour teams is going to changed for the new World Tour and based on "a precise points system" that sounds like rider points to me and if it is that means the value of a team and its elegibility to compete in the world's biggest races could be built on points accrued by dopers… sounds like a field day for lawyers to me.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
2nd October 2010 - 21:05

1 Like