Spaniard appointed honorary citizen despite doping investigation
Thor Hushovd has spoken out against the support that Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is being given in Spain and especially in his home town of Pinto, near Madrid. Contador is currently under investigation for returning a positive doping probe at the Tour, but he is still receiving a lot of public support and was appointed first honorary citizen of Pinto last week.
World champion Thor Hushovd has now reacted to Contador being honoured, finding the treatment "odd" and saying that this would probably never have occurred in Norway.
"To do it while his doping investigation is still ongoing is odd. I think and I hope it would not have happened in Norway," Hushovd told Norwegian TV 2 Sport.
The mayor of Pinto, Juan José Martín, meanwhile explained the award to news agency Europa Press, saying it represented "honesty, sacrifice, effort and hard work" and was aimed "against the injustice committed against Contador."
Tour de France green jersey contender Hushovd said that this showed a different view of doping in Spain than in Northern European countries. "It tells of a different culture," he stated, before adding that the Spaniard should not benefit from any other treatment than other cyclists that were being investigated from doping offenses.
"He must be treated like everyone else, and if they find out that he has cheated, he has to take the full punishment. And if it is two years, he must take it."