Today I heard that Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) failed a doping control on June 26. 25 days before he won the Tour de France's mountain stage to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. I was very sad. Astarloza is a rider that I really wished to win a stage. I was extremely happy when he won the stage to Bourg-Saint-Maurice and thought he deserved it. Now I am not so sure anymore.
His Euskaltel-Euskadi team says they have not seen any abnormalities in the team's internal controls. They also said that he will be considered innocent until proven guilty. I don't know what to think, I get head ache. He should have been sacked from his team, at least until the answer of the B-test arrive.
Astarloza tested positive for recombinant EPO, a blood booster, in an out-of-competition control. Earlier this month the team's Inigo Landaluze was suspended after twice testing positive for EPO CERA. The team should do something now. Two tests are way too many and right now it seems they are not serious about fighting. In the case of Landaluze, the team condemned the rider and he took full responsibility for his positive tests. But Astarloza has said nothing and they don't touch a finger. Most teams take responsibilities nowadays when they have had dopers in their team, so far I have not seen it from Euskaltel-Euskadi. Surely this may chance and I hope it will.