Janez Brajkovic has reacted to the 10-month ban that the UCI handed him for a Methylhexanamine positive from last year, writing in his personal blog that although the UCI accepted his reasons for the positive test, "Cycling is a sport where unfortunately, they'll smack you with higher, rather than minimum sanction".
"I knew that suspension was inevitable, but my main goal was for UCI to accept that it was unintentional due to contaminated product," Brajkovic wrote.
"And yes, they came back, accepting my beliefs. Now even though it was non intentional, it shouldn't be taken lightly, that's why they proposed 10 month suspension."
Brajkovic blamed the positive on a meal replacement supplement he took, which was made by a company that used to make a pre-workout product that contained Methylhexanamine (MH).
"From what information I was able to obtain," his sample had 20-40 times less of the substance compared with other athletes who tested positive for MH.
Brajkovic chose to accept the ban, rather than go through the Anti-doping Tribunal process. "Honestly, I just didn't have more energy or money to fight it, so I accepted it. There are still some things that are going on and [that] could reduce my suspension, but I just don't want to wait anymore."
Brajkovic wrote that when he learned of his positive test he suspended himself voluntarily, "I couldn't have raced, because at the time I was psychologically destroyed," and "Because I tested positive for banned substance, I believed I shouldn't be racing in first place until matter gets resolved."
Although he was able to pinpoint the offending product, which did not list MH as an ingredient, Brajkovic said he no longer had the container from the supplement so there was no way to prove it was the cause. However, he was able to convince the UCI to reduce his ban.
"Is this the worst thing ever happened to me? Most of the people would say so, and yes, it's really bad. Especially in the sport of cycling no matter how small or big mistake, it has a big impact... Looking from another perspective, I've had worse things happen," he wrote.
"In my career I was bullied, didn't fit in, because I didn't go out with people to get lit to near death, I was choked during the Tour by a teammate, I was told I'm zero, nobody, worthless, right after I signed a contract. I was also told, I was gonna [sic] be fired and they'll make sure I never ride again.
"The irony, these consequences were never because I was fighting for myself, I was always trying to help others. More of this, some other time, maybe.
"I'm not writing this to make you feel sorry for me, you shouldn't. Just facts, and It's up to you to decide what you wanna [sic] do with it. I'm not gonna curl up and hide in a cave feeling sorry for myself."
Brajkovic ended his entry writing, "There are more things to come, whether you understand or hate me I don't blame you."
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