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Joaquim Rodríguez in the 2011 Katusha team kit
Katusha rider awaiting Spanish federation's verdict
Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) has said that he would be pleased to be promoted to third overall in the official results of the 2010 Vuelta a España if Ezequiel Mosquera is sanctioned for testing positive for Hydroxyethyl starch during the race. Rodriguez finished in fourth place in Madrid after leading the overall classification in the final week.
“Of course I would have liked to have been on the podium in Madrid,” Rodriguez told AS. “If Ezequiel has cheated, I’d want him to be disqualified and for me to be given third place.”
Rodriguez warned that justice must run its course, however, he was reticent to condemn Mosquera before the Spanish federation finishes its deliberations on the case.
“We must await the decision of the federation because if he is eventually found to be innocent the damage to his reputation would be almost irreparable,” Rodriguez said. “These things have to be taken with caution.”
Mosquera returned a sample that showed traces of Hydroxyethyl starch after stage 18 of the Vuelta but an investigation into his case is still pending. In the intervening period he has signed for the Vacansoleil-DCM team and was on hand at the squad’s official presentation in Rotterdam on Monday.
Mosquera’s erstwhile Xacobeo Galicia teammate David Garcia also tested positive for the blood plasma volume expander during the race and subsequently returned a positive test for EPO.
Meanwhile, Vuelta a España race director Javier Guillén called for a speedy resolution to the Mosquera affair and expressed his frustration that the results of the 2010 edition of his race are still provisional.
“We need to know whether he will remain in second place,” Guillén told AS. “And then there’s his victory on the Bola del Mundo. We’d like to know if the first winner on that climb will keep his victory.”
Eventual race winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) was second on stage 20 to the inaugural mountain top finish.