Em 2004 vibrei com muito gosto com o quinto lugar obtido por José Azevedo na Volta à França. Mas para quem lê o relatório da USADA sobre o caso de doping de Lance Armstrong, José Azevedo terá que prestar esclarecimentos extremamente claros sobre o seu papel na equipa US Postal no Tour de 2004.
Em 2004 a equipa US Postal era constituída por: Lance ARMSTRONG, José AZEVEDO, Manuel BELTRAN, Vjatceslav EKIMOV, George HINCAPIE, Floyd LANDIS, Benjamin GONZALEZ, Pavel PADRNOS e José Luis RUBIERA. No relatório da USADA, entre as inúmeras provas de prática de doping podemos ler o seguinte na secção 2004 que vai da página 67 até à página 71:
"Floyd Landis reported that Ferrari attended the training camp in Puigcerdà to monitor the team members’ blood values and that Ferrari “administered EPO and testosterone as needed to ensure the team was ready for the Tour de France. Floyd Landis saw Lance Armstrong “lying on a massage table wearing a transdermal testosterone patch on his shoulder.” By this time, the use of testosterone patches was quite prevalent on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team."
"Landis testified that, “[o]n or about July 12, 2004, blood was transfused into me and a few other members of the team,” including, Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie Floyd Landis also testified regarding a second transfusion received by Armstrong, Landis and other members of the team. Landis testified that this transfusion occurred on the team bus between the finish of a stage and the hotel and that the driver had pretended to have engine trouble and stopped on a mountain road for an hour so that the team could have blood infused. George Hincapie confirms that, “[a]fter a stage during the 2004 Tour de France blood transfusions were given on the team bus to most of the riders on the team."
"Levi Leipheimer testified that in 2005 when he and Landis were assisting each other with blood transfusions that Landis had told him about an incident at the 2004 Tour where the entire U.S. Postal Service team had received transfusions on the team bus following a stage in the Tour"
Quem lê estas passagens só pode concluir que é grande a probabilidade que José Azevedo como membro da equipa tenha recebido transfusões sanguíneas e tenha consumido EPO e testosterona.
Espero que a Autoridade Antidopagem de Portugal não esteja a dormir depois deste enorme escândalo.