Winner of Stage 16 of this year’s Tour, Mikel Astarloza of Euskaltel, tested positive for EPO in an out of competition test on June 26. He ‘s been suspended from racing and will face a disciplinary hearing by the Spanish Cycling Federation. I’m sure he’ll request an analysis of his B-sample and then claim ignorance about how this all could have happened. The script is well ingrained in popped riders now.
On the day of his win Astarloza said “It’s the best day of my life.” I’m guessing today is right up there as one of his worst. It will be interesting to hear the backstory on this out of comp test. Was he being targeted via the blood passport program?
And the question that still needs to be answered: Why do these guys think they won’t get caught? I wouldn’t be surprised if today is the first day of a long month of drip, drip, drip doping news connected to the Tour. Then we have the 2008 Tour retro testing to look forward to in the fall.
Will any of the big names come out to condemn this or will the Omerta prevail.