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by Shane Stokes
February 3, 2018
BMC Racing wins team time trial at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; Sliding in the sand: Sun Tour peloton divided as stage 2 is neutralised; Sarreau wins again on stage 3 of the Etoile de Bessèges; López vying to pay tribute to Scarponi with success in Tour of the Alps; Lobato denies sleeping pill addiction, appeals for contract offers; French amateur given five year suspension for hidden motor use; Teklehaimanot signs for Cofidis; Happy the Eclectus loves his bike; Tour of Britain commentary excerpts and bloopers; Beavis and Butthead do SRAM
Speaking almost a month and a half after he was sacked by LottoNL-Jumbo, Juanjo Lobato has issued a clarification about his use of sleeping tablets while denying some of the media suggestions at the time. The Spaniard issued a public statement via Facebook on Friday and said that he wanted to continue at the highest level in the sport.
“I would like to start by explaining what happened on December 14, 2017 at the concentration-Jumbo Concentration [training camp],”he wrote. “Even though I will not represent any more your colours, I must apologize to the team for having violated some of your rules. Finally, they decided to fire me and come to an agreement to terminate the contract.
“However, I do want to refute some information published at the time. So that there is no doubt: there was no party or the presence of alcoholic drinks. The only thing that’s true is that I took a medication to sleep, a substance that in no case is dopant [doping].”
The use of all medications must be approved by LottoNL-Jumbo’s doctors, something which landed Lobato, Antwan Tolhoek and Pascal Eenkhoorn into trouble. The latter two were given two month suspensions by the team after they too used sleeping tablets. In Friday’s statement Lobato denied any addiction to the substances. “I’ve already done several medical tests, with thorough tests. And the result is clear: there are no traces of these substances to sleep in my urine. In fact, I’m totally open for more tests to prove that I’m not addicted to any kind of medication.”
He acknowledged that at times during 2017 he had to use sleeping tablets to sleep, saying it was ‘the hardest year of his life’ due to a difficult separation and the death of his uncle at work. He added that he is still looking for a team, and appealed for offers.
Click through to read the full statement here.