In April 2018 the UCI reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Brazilian cyclist Roberto Pinheiro after an UCI Expert Panel concluded unanimously in July 2017 in their Expert Opinion, that the Athlete’s hematological profile “highly likely” showed that he used a prohibited substance or a prohibited method: the use of EPO or Blood doping.
This conclusion of the UCI Expert Panel is based on assessment of blood samples, collected in the period from 29 September 2015 until 23 June 2016 reported in the Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP).
Previously the Athlete submitted his explanations for the abnormal findings in his ABP to the UCI which were rejected by the Expert Panel in their Second Experts Opinion submitted in April 2018.
After notification a provisional suspension was ordered. The Athlete waived an Acceptance of Consequences and failed to respond to the communications of the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal. As a result the Sole Arbitrator rendered a decision based on the Parties' written submissions.
The Athlete submitted with evidence that in June 2015 he suffered from the medical condition rhabdomyolysis and was hospitalized for treatment. He argued that his medical condition and altitude training in 2015 caused the fluctuations in his blood markers. He also disputed the validity of sample 10 in his ABP which was analysed in the suspended Rio Lab in 2016.
The UCI contended that the Rio Lab was suspended from 22 June 2016 until 20 July 2016 while sample 10 was analysed by the Lab. However WADA confirmed that it had approved the Rio Lab the analysis of sample 10 in accordance with the ABP Operating Guidelines.
Considering the evidence in this case the Sole Arbitrator is comfortably satisfied to conclude that important abnormalities did exist in the Athlete's haematological profile and that he committed an anti-doping rule violation of Article 2.2 ADR in the form of Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.
The Sole Arbitrator concludes that it is very unlikely that the abnormalities in the Athlete's ABP were caused by the medical condition rhabdomyolysis, nor by training at an altitude of 1800 m.
Further the Sole Arbitrator deems that analytical data of sample 10 must stand because the Athlete failed to establish a departure from the ISL, let alone a departure that could reasonably have caused a misreading of the analysis.
Therefore the UCI Anti-Doping Panel decides on 3 February 2020 to impose a fine and a 4 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete starting on the date of the provisional suspension, i.e. on 4 April 2018.
The UCI costs for the results management and the ABP documentation package shall be borne by the Athlete.