Galicia’s regional government has rejected suggestions made by Ezequiel Mosquera and his legal team that it interfered in the judicial process that led to the rider being handed a two-year ban after a positive test for hydroxethyl starch. In a press release, the Galician government described Mosquera’s accusations as “totally false” and defended the conduct of the region’s secretary-general for sport, José Ramón Lete Lasa.
“The secretary-general affirms that he never interfered in the process that was opened against this athlete, neither in order to support him nor, it must be added, to prejudice the case against him, and neither did he encourage any media to speak out against Ezequiel Mosquera,” said the release.
The statement was put out less than a day after Mosquera and his legal team had hit out with a series of accusations against the Spanish federation and the Galician regional government, which backed the Xacobeo-Galicia team that Mosquera was riding for when he tested positive during the 2010 Vuelta a España. Mosquera had claimed that Lete had “asked that a hard line be taken” against Mosquera because he had “caused a lot of damage in Galicia”.
The statement added that, “The [Galician] sports ministry and its head always stayed outside the arguments being made, scrupulously respecting the proceedings and courts charged with implementing sporting justice.” It also said that Lete’s only comments on the case related to his insistence on “the absolute defence of the presumption of innocence of the rider until his responsibility could be shown during the proceedings”.
Now effectively banned until the start of the 2014 season, Mosquera is unlikely to compete at the top level again, although he insists he will be appealing his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Mosquera, who turned 36 last weekend, is also facing a demand for compensation amounting to €276,000 after his ban was confirmed.