This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Football players are applauded for doping, while cyclists are censured for it, Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro claimed on Spanish television. The discussion grew heated as Pereiro named names of football players he claimed have doped.
Appearing on the show “Punto Pelota”, Pereiro said, “Giovanella tested positive, Gurpegui, Guardiola ... And all are because they take an energy complex. If a cyclist takes it, he has doped. Everyone at San Mamés, Balaidos, Barcelona shouts 'innocent' and I have to put on a mask to walk down the street. "
When asked about Operación Puerto, he answered that "Zidane has admitted that he had a blood transfusion in Switzerland to regenerate his body. In cycling that is [a doping] positive."
The problem, he summarized, is that it is often seen that the cyclist is done but the football player “is fighting for his club colors".
Pereiro said that he hopes that one day Eufemiano Fuentes, the point man of Operación Puerto will “hopefully one day have the courage to tell everything he knows. In Operación Puerto there were a lot of blood bags labelled European Championships, which doesn't exist in [pro men's] cycling.”
Cycling is not perfect, he conceded. "In my sport we have made fifty thousand mistakes, we are fools. That cannot be hidden". Still, at least cycling is active in the anti-doping fight, as the riders cyclists spend "10% of their salary to the fight against doping, but athletes in other sports do not."