By Monika Prell
"I don't know what to do. What does the UCI want? What are they looking for? I have the impression that since July I am living a nightmare." Those were the first words Iban Mayo said in an interview published in Deia one day after the second B sample of the Basque cyclist was found positive for EPO in the French Chatenay-Malabry laboratory. "I expected this, but nevertheless I am very furious and doubt everything around this last counter-analysis, proceeded to illegally. I also doubt that they analysed the urine at all because there wasn't a lot left."
Mayo and his attorney did not send any representative to supervise the re-opening of the sample in France, because for them, "it was an illegal analysis that didn't serve anything." The Spaniard was nevertheless mentally prepared for the positive result, "not because I am guilty, but because it was clear that the result would be one the UCI would like to have. Could you imagine that the UCI would admit that a third counter-analysis could also have been negative?"
The B sample of Mayo's first, positive A sample analysis was analysed twice: once by a laboratory in Gent, Belgium, which found it to be "inconclusive", and last week again by the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory in Paris, where the original analysis had been made. Still, the 30 year-old believed that the International Cycling Union (UCI), who asked for the re-opening of the B sample, was looking to prove something. "I don't know if it is the obstinacy of the UCI or a personal problem," he continued. "I think that if this counter-analysis had been negative, the UCI would lose credibility - if it still has any.
"I also thought that they want to demonstrate something, that they want to demolish the generation of cyclists I belong to. They are playing with the life of a person, with the sporting career of a rider that dedicated 30 years to it. This is something that nobody can take lightly, because the rules have to be respected," Mayo added, explaining that he thought the UCI did not stick to the rules in his case. "They accuse me of being a cheater? Of not having respected the norms of the Tour de France? So they are doing the same."
UCI lawyer Philippe Verbiest meanwhile explained the procedure's legitimacy. "The analysis in Gent did not give a result, neither positive nor negative, so it is therefore logical that a second analysis was carried out," he told L'Equipe on Thursday.