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Castaño and Blanco counter McQuaid's claims on Spanish cycling culture
Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) president Juan Carlos Castaño and president of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco have defended Alberto Contador as the tug-of-war over his Clenbuterol positive continues.
There's doubt over Contador's guilt in the matter, with the RFEC boss noting that no official communication from the UCI has been received by his organisation in relation to Contador, prompting him to ask UCI president Pat McQuaid to clarify the issue.
"We wrote to them [the UCI] on Friday and then on Monday, and we had no response, although we know that the e-mails have been read," Castaño told reporters from Europa Press yesterday.
Castaño said he was "very surprised" that it had been a month without any communication from cycling's governing body regarding the Spanish star. "We told him both personally and in the [UCI's] congress in Melbourne and the surprise is that it has been a month and we are without any official communication," he explained.
Castaño's comments also come on the back of statements made by McQuaid during the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia, indicating that Spain's approach to the problem of doping lags behind that of many other cycling nations. The RFEC chief explained that his country's attitude to the issue was no different to the rest of the world.
On this topic Spanish Olympic Committee boss Blanco was unequivocal: "Spain has historically always been fighting against doping and took a step further with the concept of 'zero tolerance' and then one more with the State Anti-Doping Agency," he explained
"The CSD (National Sports Council of Spain), the COE (Spanish Olympic Committee) and federations chase and fight against doping. In cycling, we have 10 positives, the UCI, 318; it's not true that we don't take it seriously,"
And given the lack of communication between the RFEC and the UCI over the Contador issue, Blanco says he will defend Contador against any claims made against his innocence, given that the case's facts are still in dispute.
"Some people have criticised me for defending Contador, but I'll keep doing it because I defend the person. When you win, everyone hugs you and when you have a problem they take a step back and choose to be cautious," he said.