Rui and Mario Costa test positive, claim contaminated supplement was at fault
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Rui and Mario Costa test positive, claim contaminated supplement was at fault

by Conal Andrews at 11:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Rui Costa was a stage winner this year in the Tour de Suisse

Rui CostaBrothers Rui and Mario Costa, who placed first and third in the Portuguese national time trial championships on June 25, have been provisionally suspended after testing positive for the substance methylhexaneamine. As detailed yesterday on VeloNation, Caisse d’Epargne rider Rui Costa had been in a dispute with team manager Eusebio Unzué in recent months, and had been blocked from racing since finishing this year’s Tour.

The 24 year old was not offered a contract with next year’s team, which will be backed by Movistar.

The reason for that lack of a contract offer has now become clear. He and his brother Mario, who competes with the Barbot Siper team, face a lengthy battle to clear their names.

They pleaded their innocence via their Facebook pages today, saying that they consumed a contaminated supplement.

“What we took was a dietary supplement based on arginine that was contaminated with the substance, which is nothing more than a stimulant. We never even had the intention of doping. Therefore, we ask for your understanding and hope that justice is done,” they said in the joint statement.

“When we received notification, we thought it was a mistake, so asked for the counter analysis which gave the same result. It was then that the food supplement was sent for analysis. It was analysed in a laboratory accredited by the International Cycling Union, which detected contamination.”

He argued that there was a clear difference between their case and that of sportspeople who willingly inject substances like CERA and EPO in order to gain an unfair advantage.

According to Dn.Sapo.pt, the Portuguese Cycling Federation has said that there are four or five cases pending in relation to the same substance. It has been in the headlines recently due to a number of positive tests for it at the Commonwealth Games.

Rui Costa finished second in the 2008 Tour de l’Avenir, a competition which is used as a predictor of those who are likely to shine in future Grand Tours. He was later fifth in the world road race championship for under 23 riders, and last season won the Four Days of Dunkirk.

This year, he picked up three wins: the 1.1 ranked Trofeo Deia in Majorca, stage eight of the Tour de Suisse and that national TT victory. His results also include second overall in Dunkirk.

The Jornal Record publication said that he was in talks with RadioShack, Vacansoleil and the new Luxembourg team.

His brother Mario’s best result this year was that third place in the time trial championships. Providing the positive cases are upheld, runner-up Sergio Ferreira Sousa (Madeinox – Boavista) will be crowned the new winner.
 

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