By Antonio J. Salmerón
Spaniard Juan Carlos Domínguez, winner of the Giro d'Italia prologue in 2002, has confirmed his retirement from professional cycling due to the ongoing fallout from Operacion Puerto. "Some directors have set up their own society, or Mafia, and for that reason the situation in cycling is now much worse," Domínguez told Spanish news agency Efe. "They want more power, but the riders now have less weight".
Domínguez had hoped to find a new team for 2007, but after negotiations with several teams failed to result in an acceptable contract, the 35 year-old decided: "the moment had arrived to leave professional cycling". Regarding his life outside the professional peloton, Domínguez said: "Now I would like to contribute my long cycling experience to young people, to make better people rather than good sportsmen."
After turning professional with Kelme in 1995, Domínguez rode for several teams during his career, including ibanesto.com, Phonak, Saunier Duval and finally Unibet.com in 2006. Apart from wearing the Maglia Rosa for one stage at the 2002 Giro, Domínguez took overall victory in the 2004 Vuelta Andalucía and the Vuelta a Burgos in 2005.