Fallen professional cyclist Jesus Manzano said Saturday he is ready to make a statement about alleged doping practices while he rode for the Spanish Kelme team from 2000 to 2003.
Manzano told the Spanish sports daily MARCA that he wanted revenge for the way he was treated by Kelme last year and vowed that he would “make what Philippe Gaumont said a few days ago in France seem like a children’s story.”
“What is going to come out has real substance, I’ve got proof of all I’m going to say. I’m not going to do what Gaumont has done, I’m going to give all of the details,” said Manzano, referring to Cofidis rider Gaumont, who was sacked after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO last month.
The 25-year-old Manzano was thrown off the Tour of Spain last September, allegedly for having sex with a female friend during the race against team rules, which he has denied. He was not offered a new contract this season; unemployed and unable to pay even his rent, he said it is time to strike back.
“A rider should not be thrown out of a team like that,” said Manzano, who quit last year’s Tour de France as the race entered the Alps at Morzine. “I’m going to explain everything about France and about Valencia, when I was forced to leave a train half dead. The train wouldn’t leave unless I got off it.” Manzano implied that the drugs he was taking had left him almost witless.
He added: “They (Kelme) still owe me money, about a month’s wages and some expenses.”
Asked if he was motivated by thoughts of vengeance, Manzano said: “Yes, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I’m not going to accuse any other rider of anything, this is purely about me, about things that have affected me.”
According to MARCA, rumors have circulated that Manzano had been involved in trafficking doping products. There are also insinuations about his close friendship with cyclist Jose Maria Jimenez, who died in mysterious circumstances in December last year. However, Manzano said those rumors have been invented by Kelme in a bid to smear his and Jimenez’s names.
“According to the rumors I have seven houses, seven BMWs and seven Mercedes, but at the moment I’m living in a rented house and I owe rent to the owner,” he said. “But I’m not doing this for money, but for vengeance.”
FILED UNDER: Road