|Nairo Quintana, champion and cycling federation critic.|
The 89-year-old Colombian Federation of Cycling is passing through troubled times, if you believe its critics.
The most prominent of those critics is Nairo Quintana, winner of the tours of Spain and Italy.
The league “doesn't send all the athletes (that it could to races), doesn't provide financial support, doesn't publicize its accounts and doesn't provide support," to riders, Quintana said.
Recently, in fact, the Vuelta a Tolima was canceled because the federation had not
|BMX champion Mariana Pajón defends the federation.|
In additional, critics call the federation's anti-doping efforts weak. Two months ago, Coldeportes' anti-doping laboratory was shut down because it did not meet international standards.
Many also called the planned prize money for women in the canceled Tolima tour inadequate: Only 70,000 pesos, or about US $25, for stage winners and 600,000 pesos, or $210, for the tour winner.
Paradoxically, the federation charges cyclists 680,000 pesos for racing licenses, reportedly one of the highest rates in the world, and wealthy corporate sponsors.
Quintana had also opposed the election in January of Jorge Ovidio González, a veteran cycling official, as federation president. Some alleged that González bought votes with favors and are attempting to annul the election.
But Colombian BMX champion Mariana Pajón, winner of two Olympic gold medals, criticized Quintana in an audio message which she sent to her father but was leaked to the media.
"It makes me sad, because a person such as Nairo should be careful of what he says," she said, and suggested that Quintana was bitter because his candidate for federation president was defeated. Pajón's father is a federation official.
Pajón acknowledged that there were problems, but said that the federation could not support all racers.
Federation president González also said that Quintana was misinformed about subjects such as racers' health insurance.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours