In December 2019 the UCI reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Portuguese cyclist Domingos Gonçalves after an UCI Expert Panel concluded unanimously, in August 2019 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 28 July 2015 until 1 February 2019 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 #2 and #3 Experts Opinion Report submitted in November 2019 and February 2020.
After notification a provisional suspension was ordered. The Athlete waived an Acceptance of Consequences and filed a statement in his defence. The Sole Arbitrator of the UCI Anti-Doping Panel rendered a decision based on the Parties' written submissions.
The Athlete denied the use of prohibited substances and disputed the reliability of the ABP. He suggested that mishandling of samples, altitude training and use of supplements could explain the abnormalities in his ABP. In addition he submitted numerous independent blood analyses (by non-WADA accredited laboratories) that would contradict the abnormalities found in his ABP.
Considering the evidence in this case the Sole Arbitrator is comfortably satisfied to conclude that 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 deems that the Athlete's altitude training and his use of supplements could not explain the abnormalities in his ABP. Further the Sole Arbitrator finds that none of the private analysis results submitted by the Athlete can affect the otherwise valid and reliable analysis of the Athlete's ABP.
Therefore the UCI Anti-Doping Panel decides on 28 January 2021 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 12 December 2019.
The UCI costs for the results management and the ABP documentation package shall be borne by the Athlete.