Algarve cyclist João Rodrigues, winner of the Volta a Portugal in 2019 and the Volta ao Algarve in 2021, has been suspended for seven years for use of doping, announced this Tuesday, October 4, the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal. Samuel Caldeira and Ricardo Mestre, also from the Algarve, are barred from competing “only” for three years.
João Rodrigues' penalty is the most serious for the seven W52/FC Porto cyclists who have been suspended since July.
According to the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal, the Algarve native, from Faz Fato (Tavira), will be sentenced to four years by the International Cycling Union for "abnormalities in his biological passport", to which are added three years for "possession of prohibited method'.
Ricardo Mestre, from Castromarino who won the Tour of Portugal in 2011, and Samuel Caldeira were suspended for three years “for possession of a prohibited substance and a prohibited method”.
Among the suspended athletes are also Ricardo Vilela, José Neves and Daniel Mestre (born in Almodôvar).