Mirsamad Pourseyedi Golakhour (Tabriz Petrochemical) tried to quash doubts over his Tour de Langkawi victory. The Iranian rider has been subjected to questions regarding doping since he took hold of the yellow jersey, but he dismissed the idea that it was anything but clean.
“I promise that I and all other riders on our team are clean. We are clean and we work hard and we do hard training always,” said Pourseyedi Golakhour in the post race conference. “Now I am training and doing a lot of hard work. Before we came here we did a training camp in Iran and other big countries. At the moment our country is cold so we went for some hot weather. Right now I am doing a lot of hard work and hard training. I am in a strong team and I will do my best for cycling and to keep cycling every day.”
Pourseyedi Golakhour became the first Asian rider to win the Tour de Langkawi when he safely crossed the line on the race’s final stage this Saturday. The Iranian was obviously delighted at his achievement. “The Tour de Langkawi has been going for 19 years and I am very happy that an Asian rider has finally won the race and that an Iranian rider has won. After 19 years it is a good thing, I am very happy.
“It is very special times because the organiser invited us to ride with six pro teams. After stage four we had more stages to defend the yellow jersey and I would like to give special thanks to my whole team.”
It has been a case of defensive riding since the Iranian took hold of the yellow jersey on the queen stage to Genting Highlands. His performance on the climb raised a few eyebrows and many more questions. The Iranian rider attacked from the chasing group and was able to pull out over three minutes on his fellow chasers on the final climb.
His victory was reminiscent of Mustafa Sayar’s at the Tour of Turkey, where the Turkish rider powered away to take the race lead. Sayar later tested positive for EPO and his win was handed to Natnael Berhane. While this was no clear cut indication of anything, it added to his history was enough to cause suspicion.
In 2011, Pourseyedi Golakhour was handed a two-year ban for EPO use. A month after his ban he made his return to cycling the Tabriz Petrochemical rider took victory at the equally ranked 2.HC Tour de Qinghai Lake. Prior to Qinghai Lake, his biggest victory was at his national race the Tour of Iran, which is ranked 2.2.
Cyclingnews approached Pourseyedi Golakhour the following morning after his stage victory. However, all questions related to doping were avoided, although it is not clear if this was deliberate or if they had been mistranslated. Cyclingnews suffered the same problem during the press conference after stage nine, where the questions were met with looks of confusion. Finally, armed with google translate, Cyclingnews was able to get their questions across to the Tour de Langkawi winner.
While his answer will do little to quell the discontent in many, Pourseyedi Golakhour seems certain that he will not have his victory scratched from the records in years to come.