JUAN FRANCO: "I URGE ATHLETES TO STUDY ANTI-DOPING RULES CAREFULLY!"
Colombian sambist Juan Franco have won in Mexico a Pan-American gold medal in combat SAMBO (57 kg) after two years of suspension. He told about his feelings and about his new life in the interview for FIAS web-site.
– Of course, I experienced unforgettable and in many respects conflicting emotions, as the past two years, from a psychological viewpoint, had been pretty difficult for me. As you know, doping got into my body not by my own will, I had to pay for a fault that wasn’t mine. Therefore, at these Championships in Mexico, it was important for me to prove to everyone – from FIAS to my friends and relatives – that I can win being on equal terms with everyone.
– What helped you not to break down, to endure these 2 years, which is a long time?
– First and foremost, my family, my friends, and my coach Daniel Torres. Against all odds, my coach kept on believing in me. And FIAS trusted me, too, by clearing me to perform at the Pan-American Championships in Acapulco.
– When looking at you, I recall a known quotation from Nietzsche, "What does not kill us makes us stronger". Is it about you?
– In fact, what happened to me was a rather unpleasant story, and it should not happen to other athletes. In this regard, I would like to urge all athletes, all members of national SAMBO federations, so that they carefully study all the aspects of anti-doping rules. I would like to warn everyone against the repetition of my sad experience, from making such inadvertent mistakes.
– Now that you have won the gold at Pan-American Championships, what is coming next?
– Now my goal is the World SAMBO Championships in Bucharest. I believe in myself, and I am pretty confident that I can win a gold medal.
– Have the Colombian athletes managed to win the World SAMBO Championships yet?
– No, they haven’t, so far, but I'm going to set a record for my country.
– Do you plan to compete in multi-sport games?
– Yes, I plan to take part in all the tournaments that take place in our region. I would also like to perform in Europe, to gain more experience.
– That is, at some international competitions?
– Yes, such as the Paris SAMBO Grand Prix and the "Kharlampiev Memorial" World Cup
– Why did you choose SAMBO?
– As a boy, I was going in for various martial arts. But as soon as I discovered SAMBO, I immediately fell in love with this sport. SAMBO is very versatile and effective.
– What is SAMBO for you?
– I spend all my time practicing SAMBO: I train myself and coach others. Therefore, SAMBO is my whole life.14.08.2018