By Monika Prell
All cyclists involved in the Operación Puerto are living through a hard time, but Carlos García Quesada seems to be having an even harder one. The 28 year old turned pro in 2002 with the Kelme team, and in 2006 rode for Unibet.com. Because of his implication in the scandal, the Spanish rider was suspended on June 30, but the suspension was lifted only two weeks later, because the team had no official information that their cyclist was really involved in the case. So García Quesada, who this year won the Vuelta a Andalucia and one stage of the Vuelta a Murcia, completed his season like any other cyclist. However, according to the Spanish newspaper El País, he has not received any pay since August 1.
In September he wrote a letter of complaint to the team and indicated his willingness to undergo a DNA test to prove his innocence. The team's answer was short and hard: According to El País they did not pay him since August with the objective of forcing an end of the contract.
In October, the team invented a new strategy - they made Garcia Quesada, whose contract runs through 2007, undergo not only a series of medical analyses, but also psychological tests. They said they would evaluate the results and use it to further process of the selection, which, according to El País, means that they intend to use it as a basis to cancel the contract.
However, the rider is fighting back. Unless García Quesada can come to an agreement with the team, he intends to sue the squad in a court in Granada, and request that it freeze the team's guarantees with the UCI, a total of 532,000 Euros. Unibet, who only last week received its ProTour license, which is only granted to teams that "have a clean record concerning ethical, economical and social aspects", is seeking to distance themselves from the long-running Operación Puerto investigation to ensure their participation in the ProTour.