Spanish mountain biker Margarita Fullana admitted to using the EPO for which she tested positive at the end of August. She called it the “greatest stupidity” of my life, which occurred during a “very bad year.”
The positive control was in a sample taken out-of-competition in Montreal on August 30.
“I'm stupid and I have the courage to admit it. So many years fighting for a career, and I make a mistake,” Fullana said in a statement released overnight.
“I can only say I am sorry and have disappointed many people, but I have disappointed myself most. I will accept my punishment and move on, life goes on and now I have to keep fighting in other areas of my life.
The 38-year-old said that she started the year “with enthusiasm but could not find the right feelings, in any race. I pushed myself and pushed myself, I had personal problems, had not won anything, and had injuries ... A whole host of things that right now could not even describe it..”
This was the first time she had used “illegal” substances in her career, Fullana said. “I did not need them. I was strong and highly motivated, but this year despite trying and trying, nothing went well and I had the opportunity to get this substance, but it was such a small amount that I didn't even notice any change in my performance.
Fullana also noted that she was first informed of the positive doping control by the Spanish media. "I would like to know how far is it ethical to leak the news to the press before the person concerned is officially notified.”
Fullana won the bronze medal in cross-country at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She has won five world championship titles (two in 1999, two in 2000, and one on 2008).
In 2007, Fullana was pulled from the world championship competition due to a high hematocrit reading. She blamed a broken arm and subsequent healing and treatment for causing the high reading.
It was the fourth positive doping control for a Spanish cyclist announced this week, following Alberto Contador, Ezequiel Mosquera and David Garcia De Pena.