Aitor Gonzalez arrested for robbery in Spain

Fourth arrest for 2002 Vuelta a Espana winner

Aitor Gonzalez, who won the 2002 Vuelta a Espana, has been arrested for being involved in the robbery of a mobile-phone store in Alicante, Spain. It is the Spaniard's fourth brush with the law.

The 41-year-old was arrested early Tuesday morning "next to the property where the window had just been broken," according to diarioinformacion.com. He claimed to have not been involved, and put the blame "on the person who accompanied him, whom he had met that night while they were partying." He said that this other person broke the glass and then fled the scene.

Gonzalez, now 41, had a short but spectacular career. He turned pro in 1998 and moved up to Kelme in 1999. By the time he left the sport in 2005, he had won not only the Vuelta a Espana overall title and three stages, but also three stages at the Giro d'Italia and one at the Tour de France. He also claimed the overall titles in the Vuelta a Murcia and the Tour de Suisse.

His downfall began when he was connected to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and Operacion Puerto. Gonzalez admitted that Fuentes was his doctor while at Kelme, but that he received only "vitamin complexes" from the gynecologist. "I do not believe that Eufemiano Fuentes gives drugs to the sportsmen," he said.

Gonzalez's retirement in January 2006 was forced by a two-year ban for a doping violation. He had tested positive twice for a "methyltestosterone metabolite", said to have been contained in a contaminated food supplement.

His first arrest came in 2007, for driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. A year later he was arrested for hiring three people to beat up someone who owed him money. That was followed in 2011 with an arrest for a bank scam.

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