Joaquim Rodriguez has denied saying that Ezequiel Mosquera should be disqualified if he doped at the recent Vuelta a Espana.
After the race, it was announced that Mosquera had tested positive for Hydroxyethyl starch. He finished second overall, and Rodriguez, of Team Katusha, was fourth.
The Spanish newspaper AS quoted Rodriguez as saying, ““If Ezequiel has cheated, I’d want him to be disqualified and for me to be given third place.” He denied having said that, instead claiming that he merely said that he did not understand why it was taking so much time to resolve the issue as it was damaging to the image of the Vuelta and to that of cycling in general.
As for being given third place, “that would not be the same, because that is to be enjoyed live and in Madrid, and not in January or February.”
In a press statement, he concluded, “Let me make clear that at no time have I expressed any desire to have him punished. It is not up to me but to the national authorities. By putting these words in my mouth, an uncomfortable situation is being created with a colleague who must be considered innocent until proven guilty.”