Last year's Tour of Spain runner-up Ezekiel Mosquera will not line up at the start of the 2011 event on August 20 in Benidorm. The Spaniard's Vacansoleil-TCM team is maintaining the 'inactive' status of the rider, as his doping case is still pending. Mosquera tested positive for hydroxyethyl starch at the race last year.
"We stick with [his inactive status]," team manager Daan Luijkx told the Telegraaf. "In the end of July, we were unsure as to line him up. We expected [the case resolution] to take more time, but it has been extremely long now."
The Spanish Cycling Federation has not yet issued a decision regarding his positive control for hydroxyethyl starch, which can be used as a masking agent for blood-boosting products such as EPO. Mosquera has continued to claim his innocence, saying, "My second place at the Vuelta a España was achieved on my own merit."
Luijkx added that even if the 35-year-old was cleared in the coming days, his participation in the Vuelta would still be highly unlikely. "It's become impossible. Condition-wise he should have at least one race in his legs before starting the Vuelta, and that's not going to happen."
Vacansoleil will travel to the start of the Vuelta with the following nine riders: Wout Poels, Martijn Keizer, Pim Ligthart, Stijn Devolder, Santo Anzà, Matteo Carrara, Michal Golas, Ruslan Pidgornyy and Sergey Lagutin.