Paula Quirós was provisionally suspended for four years after having tested positive for an anti-doping test. According to her, her coach confessed to having given her EPO without her knowing it.
A real nightmare is living the cyclist Paula Quiros. The missionary, 52nd in the world ranking of mountain bike, was provisionally suspended for four years by the International Cycling Union for testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in a control they carried out during a race that was held in Brazil in March, before the stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the athlete, her former coach Ignacio Gili confessed that he injected the substance in January without her knowing.
“I’m very ill, he ruined my career. The damage is done, I trusted him. Now the lawyers will take care of it,” Quirós, 31, said in an interview with the missionary newspaper The territory.
The cyclist has already sent her explanation to the UCI Disciplinary Court, in which she included the testimony of Gili, who took the blame for having supplied him with the prohibited drug, and requested that the sentence be annulled or, at least, reduced to the minimum possible time.
“I already made my discharge and I am waiting for that confession of Ignacio to be taken as valid, that took care of everything, He recognized that it was his responsibility and his mistake, “said the athlete.
Quirós received an email from the UCI on Tuesday last week informing him that he had tested positive for EPO in a test that had been performed during the International Mountain Biking Cup in Araxá, Brazil, in which he finished second . The news took her by surprise and her first reaction was to request the analysis of the B sample to prove that the result of the first test had been wrong.
When she was about to do it, Gili – with whom she had broken her professional relationship shortly before, after four years working together, and no longer had communication – sent her some audios explaining that he had injected her with the substance without her knowing.
“I can’t believe it yet. He says he gave me that when we went to Santa María, Catamarca, in January, for a camp in the heights. He gave me an injection that supposedly was iron and vitamin B12,” said the missionary, who stated that last year he underwent several controls, all with negative results.
“Now Gili writes me all the time, but I don’t answer him anymore. He sends me messages and audios, forgive him, that he ruined my life, that he will take care of everything, but the damage has already been done. What do I do now? How do I start over? Because it’s going to be my name, my family’s name, and not all people are going to know the real story. It is very serious, “he added.
The blow was hard. Not only for Quirós, who is aware that a sanction, although it ends up being less than the four years that would correspond to him for voluntary consumption, will practically leave her with no chances of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will be played next year.
Also for his family, of recognized trajectory in Argentine and missionary cycling. What’s more: his father Jorge is the president of the Mountain Bike Association of his province. Carmen Hobecker, her mother, wrote an open letter on Facebook, in which she recounted the difficult time they are living.
“Close people, family, friends, know the truth. I have no need to explain our values, honor, family essence. Nor those of Paula, because she is a thorough woman, who can and knows how to defend herself. She always does. She has done. Honest, stubborn, reserved, humble. With what she is living, she has nothing left to know about the sport of cycling. She has already gone through everything, even the most degrading thing that can happen to a person of honor It has been overwhelmed in its confidence, “said Hobecker.
The athlete said that she closed her social networks because she does not want to read what people write on the subject, at least until the UCI court makes a final decision.
Quirós, the Argentine best placed in the world ranking of her discipline, acknowledged that after hearing her case, she received the support and advice of the Argentine Federation of Mountain Biking (Facimo) and the sports authorities of Misiones and Apóstoles, her city.
With the discharge made, the missionary can only hope that when making its decision, the UCI takes into consideration the special nature of her situation and the fact that she involuntarily used the drug.
“The safest thing is that they will suspend me and we have to hope that it will be minimal, but it will depend on the court. And if so, I will lose everything, the results, the scholarship, everything … I cannot go to any career, nothing. The damage it’s done, “he said.