With his Astana team beset by "doping" controversies, this year’s Tour de France winner, Vincenzo Nibali, is calling "dopers" "stupid".
Nibali told the British newspaper, The Guardian, yesterday:
“If you are doping, you will be caught. Even if the technique of doping can be advanced, you will still be caught in another four years. It makes me laugh. Risking and cheating today is for stupid people.”
Nibali spoke to The Guardian ahead of yesterday’s headlines, after the fourth Astana rider, Victor Okishev, tested positive for steroid use – stemming from last May’s Asian Cycling Championships.
In addition, both of the Iglinskiy brothers, failed EPO tests a few weeks ago – igniting a media frenzy.
Ilya Davidenok, who races on Astana’s 2nd division team, was the third rider to test positive in the last two months, which drew even more scandal, to include backlash from the UCI – who called it "an extremely serious situation", that reflects poorly on the Kazakh team and its management.
Needless to say, all of the controversy surrounding the doping violations, has cast a pall over the legitimacy over Nibali’s Tour de France victory.
As a result, Nibali has lashed out in anger, calling his teammates “stupid”, while taking steps to distance himself from them.
“He was not part of my training team. I have a training team of seven and he was never part of it. The two other members of the team are chosen at the last minute. They are like a filler.”
“Apart from the obvious reaction – anger – my main feeling was that this was unbelievably stupid. It did not make any sense. He had just renewed his contract. He did not have a massive goal to chase.”
Nibali says that he has not spoken to Maxim Iglinskiy, since the violation occurred – indicating that his former teammate has “disappeared”. As for the others, given their position on Astana’s Continental squad, he considers them to be on a different team altogether.
“This guy is not from our team. Astana has a satellite team of youngsters. It’s a completely different team. I dug up a little info on him because I didn’t even know who he was.”
“The great things we’re trying to achieve can be jeopardized by a single rider,” Nibali added. “That’s why it’s so upsetting. One mistake can ruin so much. But I believe cycling is the cleanest sport because of all the doping controls.”
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