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Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia)
Escartin says fans should greet him "as a great champion"
Despite having tested positive for the suspected EPO masking agent Hydroxyethyl Starch, Spaniard Ezequiel Mosquera is not suspended from competition and is due to take part in this weekend's Critérium Ciudad de Alcobendas near Madrid on Sunday. The Vuelta a España runner-up is also expected to contest events in Chihuahua and Oviedo.
The UCI announced last month that Mosquera and his teammate David Garcia Da Peña tested positive for HES during the Vuelta a España. Garcia was later declared positive for EPO as well.
Despite the test results Mosquera, is free to continue to race until his B-sample has been analyzed and the Spanish federation has pursued disciplinary action because HES is not in the class of performance enhancing drugs.
It is unknown how Mosquera will be received by the crowds in his first race since the UCI announced the positive test, but former Kelme star Fernando Escartin thinks he should be greeted "as a great champion".
In an interview with elcorreogallego.es, Escartin spoke out in support of the runner-up, saying he wasn't sure if the UCI was trying to help or destroy cycling. "It's amazing how the UCI can leak these cases," Escartin said. "It seems if a rider takes an aspirin he's a drug addict.
"Cycling has to hold its head up. I have confidence in the riders. They have to tell their whereabouts 365 days a year, knowing that if they do something that is against the rules they will get caught."