Tour of Portugal winner tests positive, along with two others
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Tour of Portugal winner tests positive, along with two others

by Agence France-Presse at 8:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Recently-crowned Tour of Portugal champion, Nuno Ribeiro, tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin) before the race, the rider said here Friday after being notified by cycling's world ruling body.

Ribeiro also won the race in 2003 but his recent victory is now under a cloud after the results from doping control prior to the race, on August 6, were officially released Friday.

The 32-year-old's Liberty Seguros team announced Friday that two other riders with the team, Spaniards Hector Guerra and Isidro Nozal, had also tested positive for EPO.

Liberty Seguros, an insurance company, said they have immediately withdrawn their sponsorship of the team.

If Ribeiro waives his right for a B sample to be analysed, or if he makes that request and it too tests positive for the performance-enhacer, he will be disqualified and his victory will go to David Blanco, who finished runner-up in the race.

Ribeiro said in a brief statement to the Lusa press agency that it would be "logical" for him to pull out of next week's world road race championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

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