Portuguese federation hands down record 15 year ban to Pedro Lopes
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Portuguese federation hands down record 15 year ban to Pedro Lopes

by Shane Stokes at 9:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
João Benta clocks up three year suspension for EPO/CERA

Former Tour of Portugal stage winner Pedro Lopes has been handed a record ban by his national federation, and will be unable to compete as a rider for 15 years. The 35 year old has had multiple doping infringements and will be 50 years of age by the time he is eligible to race again.

Lopes won the national championships in 2004 but was stripped of the result due to a positive test. More recently, the newspaper A Bola reports that he missed several out of competition tests and as a result, the repeat offender has been handed what is a record ban.

Italian competitor Gianni Ros had previously been given a 20 year sanction, but this was later decreased to four by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Lopes thus has a rare, but shameful distinction in terms of his sport.

The 35 year old has competed with many teams since turning pro with Progecer Tavira in 1997. He raced in the colours of LA Pecol between 1998 and 2004, and afterwards had stints with LA-Liberty Seguros, Benfica and Loulé Louletano. He competed at the 1996 Olympic Games and the 2002 and 2003 worlds.

The 2004 season was his most successful, with results such as second overall in the GP MR Cortez-Mitsubishi and sixth in the Volta ao Algarve.

The disciplinary panel of the Portuguese federation has also handed a three year ban to second-year pro João Benta (Madeinox-Boavista). The 24 year old tested positive for the third generation EPO product CERA during an out of competition control taken last July. He was ninth on a stage and 16th overall in August’s Tour of Portugal.

Benta admitted taking the product in question and waived the right to a B-sample analysis. His period of suspension runs from 11 October 2010.


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