By Monika Prell
After the announcement of his positive A sample from the first stage doping test during the Giro de Trentino, Aketza Peña (Euskaltel Euskadi) had to abandon the Giro d'Italia and to take a flight to Bilbao in order to provide an explanation to his team.
"For me, the notice was an enormous surprise," said Peña. "I was riding my first Giro d'Italia, very focused on the race, and suddenly this notice arrived. I don't find any explanation. I undertook the same preparation as in other occasions before a competition."
The 26-year old said that he is "devastated, but now my defense has to begin. I will address myself to my Association in order to get some advice. The first step will be to demand a counter-analysis. I have got five workdays to exercise this right. Tomorrow I will start."
Asked about if he remembers the day when the sample was taken, he answered, "The stage was very hard. It was a day with a lot of mountains, typically for the area of Trentino. The climatic conditions were quite adverse, with a lot of heat, and I reached the finish line completely dehydrated, I even had agues."
Nevertheless, he understands "that the team followed the norms of the UCI." Euskaltel Euskadi has suspended Peña until the affair is officially cleared.