Cycling's supremo breaks silence over Spanish drug bust
Spanish authorities are not doing enough to help root out drug cheats, cycling supremo Pat McQuaid said Saturday, reported dpa.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) president was speaking in Melbourne after four Spanish riders were revealed to have failed drug tests.
Tour de France triple champion Alberto Contador was provisionally suspended along with compatriots Ezequiel Mosquera, who finished second in last month's Vuelta, and David Garcia Da Pena.
"There's a problem in Spain because ... a large percentage of our doping cases come from Spain," McQuaid told reporters covering the World Road Racing Championships in Australia's second-biggest city.
"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."
The UCI has also provisionally suspended Margarita Fullana for blood doping after the 38-year-old Sydney Olympics mountain-biking bronze medalist tested positive for the blood doping agent EPO at the end of last month.
"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. "Cycling has taken a big hit and cycling has taken a worldwide big hit as well."
McQuaid would not comment directly on Contador's case, but said that laboratories in Germany and France had analysed the sample taken in an in-competition test on July 21, 2010, the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France.
He would not estimate when the investigation into Contador would conclude.
"That's something that I'll be discussing with (World Anti-Doping Agency chief) David Howman over this weekend and trying to find out exactly where it's at."
Contador tested positive for a small amount of the banned substance clenbuterol and has blamed the finding on food contamination.