Organizers of the Vuelta a Espana are still waiting to see if they should be mailing. Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha a check for third place And maybe sending around two podium girls to give him a few smooches. The champagne is unfortunately long gone.
Yes, Rodriguez says he’s happy to see Mosquera bumped and move up to third in the Spanish grand tour. “Of course I would have liked to have been on the podium in Madrid,” Rodriguez told AS. “If Ezequiel has cheated, I’d want him to be disqualified and for me to be given third place.” (Contrast that with Andy Schleck declaring he doesn’t want to be called the winner of the 201o Tour de France if Alberto Contador’s steak defense gets chewed up in court.)
The only problem for Rodriguez and the Vuelta officials is that nobody at the UCI or WADA is saying when the analysis of Mosquera’s B sample will occur. The Spaniard tested positive for traces of Hydoxyethal starch on September 16 after stage 18 of the Vuelta.
Two weeks later on September 30th the results were announced and we’ve been on hold for three and a half months and counting. Enrico Carpani told AP that the analysis of Mosquera’s B sample is “still in preparation.” If you thought the Contador case was moving slow, look at Mosquera’s calendar.
There are several UCI accredited labs in Spain and there’s also the lab in Cologne, Germany where the A sample was tested. Have they just been booked solid for all this time? You really have to wonder and Vuelta race director Javier Guillén sure does.
“We need to know whether he will remain in second place,” Guillén told AS. “And then there’s his victory on the Bola del Mundo. We’d like to know if the first winner on that climb will keep his victory.” Seems reasonable to cycling fans that at this point we should know who won the Tour de France and who came in second in the Vuelta. Imagine if the NFL didn’t know who won the Superbowl or if Baseball’s World Series didn’t ahve a declared winner until the next season started. It would be a phenomenal disaster and embarrassment.
What’s ironic is that while the anti-doping authorities and/or labs can’t seem to move forward with testing Mosquera’s B sample, researchers in those same labs are rushing ahead to validate the new testing protocol for plasticizers. The Spanish newspaper El Pais indicated that a manuscript from the labs in Barcelona and Cologne was submitted for publication to a respected scientific journal. Hey, guys, could you just take a break and test that B sample that’s been in the fridge for over three months?
The plasticizer test may be of high interest in the Contador case and maybe even Lance Armstrong has some concerns but nobody seems to want to give Mosquera’s B sample a test. That seems baffling to us. We’re sure it’s also surprising to Joaquin Rodriguez.