″I do not see myself in this character assassination attempt″

Adriano Quintanilha left an open letter this Monday, following the scandal involving W52-FC Porto.

Adriano Quintanilha published an open letter this Monday, after the International Cycling Union had withdrawn the sports license from W52-FC Porto, which thus prevents it from participating in the Volta a Portugal. “Anyone who knows me at all knows that I fight for the values ​​of truth, honesty and respect for the word, values ​​that I received from my parents, humble people, but good people, which is why I don’t see myself in this attempt to assassinate the character of which I am target along with my sponsors”, it reads.

“I accept that we can and must always do better: clubs, the Portuguese Cycling Federation and the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal (ADoP). Therefore, in my team, I have given and will continue to give instructions so that transparency and zero tolerance are known rules of It was in this line of action that we implemented an internal Code of Conduct, adjusted to the latest anti-doping legislation”, says Adriano Quintanilha.

The W52 structure, linked to FC Porto for six seasons, won the last nine editions of the queen competition of the national calendar, although the triumphs of its Spanish rider Raúl Alarcón, in 2017 and 2018, were taken away for “use of methods and / or prohibited substances”.

On July 15, eight cyclists and two W52-FC Porto staff were preventively suspended by the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal (ADoP) as part of the Clean Proof operation. At the end of April, ten W52-FC Porto runners were accused and the team’s sports director, Nuno Ribeiro, was even arrested, as well as his deputy, José Rodrigues, during the operation in charge of the Investigation and Criminal Action Department. (DIAP) of Porto.

“The police operation, involving a total of about 120 elements from the Northern Directorate and also from the Central and Southern Directorates, from the National Anti-Corruption Unit and from the Criminal Investigation Departments of Braga, Vila Real and Guarda, had also with the collaboration of the ADoP”, detailed the PJ, on April 24, indicating that during the same “various substances and clinical instruments were seized, used in the training of athletes and with an impact on their sports performance”.

Last Thursday, FC Porto suspended the association contract with the W52 cycling team.

Read Adriano Quintanilha’s open letter in full:

Bearing in mind the many misunderstandings and perplexities surrounding the reports about the doping case that plagues the Calvário Várzea Clube de Ciclismo team [clube inscrito na Federação Portuguesa de Ciclismo. W52-FC Porto é o patrocinador] and which ended up leading to the provisional suspension of his UCI license and the consequent inhibition of participating in sporting events, I think it is important to clarify what is actually happening.

The care and concern for our sponsors, staff and athletes justifies it, and it is what moves me in this matter, leading me to meet you. I entered the cycling world in 1989, from which I retired in 2001. I returned in 2014, having in 2016 signed the current “Naming and Brand Licensing Agreement” with FC Porto, initially through Vintage Podium and, later, until present date, through the Calvário Várzea Cycling Club Association.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a cycling professional. My whole life has been dedicated to the world of clothing, working hard and daily in my companies. For this reason, I delegated functions to professionals with the aim of having a winning team, endowed with the best possible conditions, only comparable to those of the teams that run at the level of the World Tour World Tour, honoring debts not created by me towards athletes and the UCI, and hiring those who seemed to me to be the best professionals, always taking care that they acted in strict compliance with all sporting rules, namely fair play and the non-use of doping substances.

It was, therefore, with the greatest surprise and astonishment that, last April, I was confronted in my own home, where I was resting, by my athletes and other staff, realizing the existence of the judicial process in progress. Seeing the state of despair of some athletes, I soon tried to become an assistant in the same, which came to be denied. However, believing in his words and in the fact that the analyzes carried out were negative, I did what any human being with the least principles would do: defend my athletes, which I will continue to do until proven otherwise. Of course, anyone who has proven wrongdoing owes a formal and public apology, either to myself or to the Club and its sponsors.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I fight for the values ​​of truth, honesty and respect for the word, values ​​that I received from my parents, humble people, but good people, which is why I don’t see myself in this attempt to assassinate character that I am the target of. along with my sponsors.

I accept that we can and must always do better: clubs, the Portuguese Cycling Federation and the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal (ADOP). Therefore, in my team, I have given and will continue to give instructions so that transparency and zero tolerance are known rules for all. It was in this line of action that we implemented an internal Code of Conduct, adjusted to the latest anti-doping legislation.

Finally, I hope that this letter can help each reader get closer to the truth we all desire. It is true that Portuguese cycling demands and deserves, and it is certain that I will not give up on this purpose so quickly, as I am already preparing the future together with our main partners.”

.