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Garcia admits he doped during last year’s Vuelta

  • By Andrew Hood
  • Published Sep. 8, 2011

NOJA, Spain (VN) — David García, the Spanish rider on Xacobeo-Galicia who tested positive in last year’s Vuelta a España, broke his silence and admitted that he took doping products.

Garcîa also insisted that his case has nothing to do with ex-teammate Ezequiel Mosquera, who finished second overall at the Vuelta but also tested positive.

“I committed the biggest error of my life,” Garcîa said in an interview with the Spanish daily La Voz de Galicia. “I made the choice to dope. There was not organized doping with Xacobeo-Galicia. And my case has nothing to do with Mosquera. All we shared was our friendship.”

Garcîa tested positive for EPO and the hydroxyethyl starch, the latter being often used to mask EPO in anti-doping controls.

Mosquera also tested positive for hydroxyethyl starch, but his case remains in limbo and was not resolved before the start of the 2011 Vuelta.

García said that his case has nothing to do with Mosquera.

“Everyone just assumes that ‘Eze’ had to take EPO like me and everyone puts us in the same boat, but that’s not the case,” he said. “I tested positive for this product and was sanctioned, and he wasn’t. Also, our situations were very different. My future was very much up in the air and he already had a big contract with Vacansoleil.”

García said that Xacobeo-Galicia has a strict anti-doping policy within the team and explained that he ventured alone to find a trainer, whom he refused to publicly name, who could provide him with performance-enhancing products.

“I didn’t know what I was taking, but I was conscious that I was doping myself,” he said. “I found a trainer not involved with Xacobeo and sold me a product, something that he said was undetectable and that it would improve my performance. After being undecided for a few days, I made the decision. But I didn’t know it was EPO. It would be suicide to take EPO during the Vuelta because there are so many controls.”

García, who was handed down a two-year racing ban by the Spanish cycling federation, said he was tempted to dope because he was without a contract for the following season and needed some big results to secure a ride.

“We didn’t know if Xacobeo was going to continue,” he said. “I didn’t have any offers for 2011. It was for the ambition to continue being a professional cyclist and for the uncertainty over the future of the team. All that led me to make the wrong decision that resulted in the worst possible end to my career.”

García said the worst part of his case is that the doping products didn’t even help improve his performance.

“I took such minuscule amounts that it didn’t help me at all,” he said. “I made the biggest mistake of my life and, of course, I wouldn’t do it today.”

García now lives on the Spanish island of Tenerife and started a bike touring company.

FILED UNDER: News / Road / Vuelta a España TAGS: / /

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood has covered every Tour de France since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002.

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