By Brecht Decaluwé
Rider representative Cedric Vasseur is displeased with how the Manuel Beltran doping case has been treated up thus far. According to Vasseur, since the results of the positive A-sample test were made public by the French newspaper L'Equipe, a verdict on Beltran has already been decided.
"The only thing we know right now is that the A-sample is positive," Vasseur said. "It's not bad that Beltran left the Tour de France, but before we consider him guilty, we should await the analysis of the B-sample. If it is positive as well, then it's a pity for the guy. Then he will have to give an explanation."
Vasseur made an appeal to reinstate the normal procedures in case of a positive A-sample. "If an A-sample is positive, then you ask for a B-sample, and when the B is positive, and only then, you're guilty," Vasseur said. He referred to tennis player Martina Hingis who tested positive for using cocaine. "Even though we had problems with doping in the past, I think we should look at other sports to see how they're dealing. For instance Martina Hingis...we only learned that she was positive after the B-sample and that's normal."
"Now Beltran is already considered guilty... There is certainly something wrong with him, but just imagine if the B-sample isn't positive. It wouldn't be the first time," said Vasseur, referring to the Iban Mayo doping case. The Spanish rider tested positive during the Tour de France, but afterward, his B-sample came back not positive.
"Then it's a complete mess," said Vasseur. "It's bad for him, for his team, for the Tour and for cycling."