Oscar Sevilla:"When I will be forced to retire I will take action against those who are responsible"

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13.12.2007 / Spanish pro-continental team Relax has to provide guarantees and contracts for the 2008 season to the UCI tomorrow. If the team does not find an additional sponsor to provide up to 30% of its budget it will not get a license. An angry Oscar Sevilla spoke with Spanish newsagency EFE about his future and his difficulties to find a new team.

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Oscar Sevilla added 3 victories to his palmares this year (picture: Cyclingheroes)

Earlier this year Oscar Sevilla was interviewed by Cyclingheroes and at that time the 31 year old seemed to be very confident about his future. But a lot has happened since then. Sevilla was sacked by T-Mobile because of his alleged involvement in the Puerto affair. But he is one of many riders who was never officially banned by sports authorities for his alleged involvement in the Puerto scandal.

In an interview with Spanish newsagency EFE, Sevilla said that he and his team mates Angel Vicioso and Francisco Mancebo are at the abyss. Sevilla won three races this season but still he didn't find a team. He spoke with Relax and Benfica about a contract for the upcoming season but he was told that the teams fear for retaliation if they would sign him. Sevilla still loves cycling and continued training.

Tomorrow Relax has to provide additional documents to the UCI in order to get a pro-continental license for the 2008 season. Sevilla said: "We are in a borderline situation." Asked what alternatives he has if Relax will not become a license by the UCI, Sevilla said: "Although we did our job well and were strong, it looks like my colleagues and me will be unemployed soon. We are banned from our profession without a court verdict. This screaming injustice is a scandal."

Sevilla continued by saying: "It looks like I will have to face hard times but I will fight and not give up. I am part of a marginal group and nobody is really interested in our problems. The Spanish teams don't want me, just like the Portugese benfica squad because they are affraid not to receive invitations when I am with their team. It seems I have a contagious disease. What else do they want from us? We have to sacrifice our freedom and opinion, undergo various controls. We are exploited by cycling and then?"
Sevilla continued by saying: "In other sports something like that will never happen. They would move heaven and earth to stop what happends [with cycling] at the moment. It only happends in cycling because there is no unity."
Sevilla added: "I have contact with the association of professional cyclists. I want and can practice my profession but I am not allowed to. I am 31 years old and fell young and strong but they are forbidding me to race as a professional without a court verdict or an official ban. That's bitter, I feel exposed to this situation defenselessly. Imagine you have a driverslicense and still you are not allowed to drive a car!"
Sevilla continued by saying: "I feel as a victim of OP ["Operacion Puerto"]. I offered my labor almost for free. I went from team to team. The politicians have read what happends in cycling and made clear that the presumtion of innocence is a right in our country but still I am guilty without a court verdict and punished with a life-time sanction."
An angry Sevilla said: When I will be forced to retire from professional cycling, I will take action against those responsible. They have put me in a bag and in regard to sports, they ruined my life."
Sevilla concluded the interview with EFE by saying: "I will not throw in the towel voluntarily. I still feel strong enough to practise my profession but its awful that I have to suffer this injustice."

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