Best known as the diminutive, former Kelme rider, Fernando Escartín, has taken over as co- director of the Vuelta a Espana – a position vacated by Abraham Olano – who was removed from his role in the wake of a French investigation – dating back to "doping" allegations in the 1998 Tour de France.
Last July, Olano was sidelined by Vuelta director Javier Guillén – following revelations stemming from a French Senate investigation into doping – during the 1998 Tour de France. Olano, Laurent Jalabert, and Stuart O’Grady were among riders who were publicly revealed in the investigation.
However, Olano never publicly admitted to doping, rather he told the Spanish media last summer that he was “surprised” and insisted he had done “nothing illegal.” The Spaniard also expressed his anger and dismay.
“I am very hurt,” he told AS in July. “I understand that ASO is a large part French, because if not, I wouldn’t be able to understand any of this. I have to study my case with my lawyers … but the damage is done, and it would be hard to go back.”
The Vuelta’s parent company, Unipublic, responded to the allegations in a public statement – citing it’s commitment to the “fight against doping.”
Escartín and Paco Giner will share the role as technical director for next year’s Spanish Grand Tour.
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