Juan Jose Lobato: 2017 was the hardest year of my life
Feb 02 2018 06:01 pm CET

Juan Jose Lobato: 2017 was the hardest year of my life
Juan Jose Lobato: 2017 was the hardest year of my life
Photo by ASO/A.Broadway

Juan José Lobato has decided to give his side of the story of the sleeping pills and his contract rescission with LottoNL-Jumbo.

The Spaniard had chosen to keep silence after the he was caught taking unprescribed sleeping pills on the 14th of December during the training camp of LottoNL-Jumbo in Spain. An addition to this problem is that Lobato allegedly also gave some of his pills to Antwan Tolhoek and Pascal Eenkhoorn, who were temporarily suspended by the team.

Through his Facebook page, the rider has decided to break this silence. "I would like to announce that I have the intention to keep competing at the maximum level," he wrote. "Cycling is my passion and I feel stronger than ever."

"I would also like to apologise to the team for not fulfilling its norms. At the end, they decided to fire me and we reached an agreement to rescind the contract."

Lobato also wanted to clear things up of the night he was caught taking the pills. "There was not a party nor was there any alcohol involved," he said. "The only true information is that I took a medication to be able to sleep, a substance that in no case is considered doping."

"I'd also like to say that I don't have any addiction to these substances. I've already undergone several medical tests and the result is clear: there aren't any traces of those substances to sleep in my urine. And even more, I'm completely open to undergoing more tests to show that I'm not addicted to any kind of medication."

The rider also commented on the situation in his life that drove him to take this kind of medication. "2017 was the hardest year of my life. I've had to face a difficult separation and mourn my uncle, who died in a work accident and who was a key in my development as a cyclist and as a person. He was only 43."

"I deeply regret decisions that I took in the past. In life, you should never give up and I hope to have the chance to compete again as soon as possible. The only thing that I ask for is an opportunity to race. I've been training hard in the last months to find a new team and enjoy again this sport."




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