Mustafa Sayar’s Questions Waiting For Answers
Last week, with the UCI’s statements, everyone was focused on Mustafa Sayar and cycling sport in Turkey. But Mustafa Sayar’s statements revealed some unseen facts in the case. His A sample was tested positive for EPO and he’s now suspended due to the doubt of doping. We spoke to the 24-year-old rider about the WADA laboratory Châtenay-Malabry which tested his samples positive for EPO and the general process. As we spoke, interesting details which the followers don’t know and the incredible offers at the backstage began to occur.
Mustafa Sayar, mentioned that he asked for the B sample to be opened. However, he can’t have it done at another lab because of the new rules. So the second sample will be analysed at the same one. We will continue sharing the news and keep the cycling fans updated about the process.
Mustafa answered our questions
Hello Mustafa, we know that you’re very sad so I won’t ask you how you are. UCI has recently confirmed that the urine sample you submitted on March 11 during the Tour of Algeria was tested positive for EPO. In May, during the Tour of Iran, which you and your team had not participated, there were rumors about this subject. At that time, there were no statements on the websites of WADA or UCI, however people started to speak about this during that cycling tour and the explanation about the content of EPO was not defined clearly like it was in Gabrovski case. How do you consider this?
Mustafa Sayar: There were many things spoken at the backstages about the Tour of Algeria. It even started before the Tour of Turkey in April. But nobody mentioned any specific rider’s name or substances. It was obvious that there was nothing certain. The only reason my name was involved in these rumors, is because I won the Tour of Turkey. I believe that the press members and riders’ doubt about me has triggered this.
How did you feel when you received the results? We know that the correspondence and the plea process is still going on. What are the details? What are you planning to do at the plea stage?
Mustafa Sayar: Before this result came, in our correspondence, the UCI informed me that the sample which I gave on 11th March during the Tour of Algeria was not sufficient for the required tests although I gave a sample of 170 cc which should normally be sufficient. They told me that they wanted to take urine from my B sample to do additional tests and analysis and I had the right to be there in person or send a representative to observe the process if I wanted to. But they didn’t tell me why the sample was insufficient or what kind of tests and analysis they would do. Later on, my representative was informed that because of my high testosterone levels, my A sample was used to analyse if these levels were normal or not. That doesn’t make sense, because I believe that their technological conditions are better than that. Normally they should have completed all the tests witht the A sample. They couldn’t accomplish the tests with A sample in months. However, when they took the urine from my B sample, they came to a conclusion in just one week and they declared the results exactlyo n the date which Gabrovski’s results were declared last year. What’s experienced during this process doesn’t feel convincing at all. Because I’m sure of myself. I sent all the coreespondence to my lawyer. They are examined now.
Massimo Strazzer, Joan Llaners, Bo Hamburger (before 2005) and Luis Mansilla (in 2012) were found not guilty when their samples were re-tested. Do you stand any chance?
Mustafa Sayar: Yes, we have such examples. Besides, the same lab had tested Iban Mayo positive, but Mayo had the tests done at another lab in Switzerland and the result was clean. But now with the new rules, we don’t have the rgiht to have the analysis done at other labs. So I don’t feel so lucky about that.
What does “EPO positive” mean to you? How will you defend yourself against this? You will object to the decision and will you ask for the B sample to be opened?
Mustafa Sayar: Yes, I wanted the B sample to be opened. EPO positive does not mean anything to me. Because I’m sure of myself.
In this period of time, how do your team-mates, team manager, family and close friends react to the situtation? How do they approach to you?
Mustafa Sayar: They are all very sad. But at every turn, they mention that they trust me and they are with me. The people who know me well don’t believe what’s happening. My team-mates, both foreigners and Turkish ones, are all supporting me. Our trainer, manager and all the team believe me. From now on, tough times are awaiting me. The victory is won for everyone, but not everyone is there when you prove your innocence. Only the ones who really trust and believe you remain. I get my strength from them. I am going to struggle. If I really didn’t believe in myself, I wouldn’t spend any efforts or time to struggle.
Do you follow what the Turkish and worldwide riders have been saying about you since the Tour of Turkey? What do you think about this?
Mustafa Sayar: I’ve been told that they’ve been speaking with prejudice. But I don’t follow them and am not interested. People find it easy to speak using the keybord at teh virtual world. It is very easy to speak without knowing me and how I do this sport and get ready for the races.
If we ask you the same question for Turkish and foreign press, what do you think of their point of view?
Mustafa Sayar: I really don’t understand the press – especially the Turkish press. They write “doping” to the headlines even before the UCI’s explanation. Some people who comment on TV and who doesn’t understand this sport at all, can say to you that “you are doping”. They don’t have any idea that I have the right to ask for the B sample to be opened and they speak without knowing that the ultimate result will be clear only after the test of the B sample. So when you say “press” to me, I feel sick. If the press wants to do something good, they should search the things which happened after the 6th stage of the Tour of Turkey which I won the lead – such as, which teams put pressure on the president of UCI or who messed around and proposed money to me in order to make me abandon the Tour. They should find out what the president of UCI Europe told about me. They should find the ones who said, “If you’re doing this for money, I can give it to you if you give up the lead.” We don’t have an inquisitive press like L’Eqiupe or La Gazzetta dello Sport. And what’s more, when the subject is cycling, which they don’t have much idea about, they don’t surprise me at all. They take the easy way and do easy news like doping. It’s easy to do this. Even in that, they put the doping on the headlines.
Can you tell us about your reasons for not doing doping?
Mustafa Sayar: Why would I do it? Because the reason I do this sport was that I love doing it. I don’t care about the success or money I win. I loved cycling, I enjoyed what I did. I can tell you frankly that the money I get is already not enough for doping. The one and only important race for me is the Tour of Turkey. The doctors had told me that I wouldn’t be able to do any sports after the operation I had for my slipped disc. Why would I risk it all when I just tasted the pleasure of being successful?
Independent from the test results – either positive or negative – will Mustafa be different from before now? What should we expect? What will happen after this?
Mustafa Sayar: It’s not clear yet, if Mustafa will be in this sport or not. The club’s attitude can be decisive at that point. But it won’t be something I do with pleasure anymore and I don’t think this can change. When we are successful, we see many people around us who seem to be supporting. But unfortunately, if there’s something wrong, you don’t see them around much. And what’s worse, they can comment about me without knowing what’s really happening and what I experience. It’s a shame!
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