Portugal’s Amaro Antunes and Joni Brandão were officially promoted to winners of the Volta a Portugal in 2017 and 2018, respectively, by the International Cycling Union, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Raúl Alarcón’s suspension.
In the history presented on the website of the international federation, the name of Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto), current champion of the competition, appears as the winner of the 2017 edition, with the Italian Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting -Tavira) and the Spaniard Vicente García de Mateos (Louletano-Hospital de Loulé) to occupy the next places on the podium.
The name of Raúl Alarcón, who saw the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirm the four-year suspension imposed by the UCI for “use of prohibited methods and/or substances” and the cancellation of all sports results between the July 28, 2015 and October 21, 2019 were also “deleted” from the 2018 edition.
It was Joni Brandão, then a Sporting-Tavira cyclist, who “inherited” the yellow, with García de Mateos climbing a step, to be a finalist, and Edgar Pinto (Vito-Feirense-Blakjack), who has been provisionally suspended since October 2020 for “use of prohibited methods and / or substances”, to reach the podium.
The UCI has also passed a “rubber” in the five stages won by the 36-year-old Alicante in these editions, notably in Senhora da Graça, attributing the triumph at the top of Monte Farinha in 2017 to Amaro Antunes and in 2018 at Edgar. Pinto.
The CAS confirmed Alarcón’s four-year suspension, considering that the anomalies recorded in the Spanish cyclist’s biological passport coincided with blood transfusions.
In the CAS decision regarding the Spanish appeal, dated January 28 and which Lusa had access to today, we can read that the college of this body “is comfortable” with the conclusion that the cause of the anomalies in Alarcón’s biological passport will be “most certainly the use of a prohibited method, that is, blood transfusion”.
“The panel considers that the profile [hematológico] of the corridor shows a great possibility of blood manipulation, the “timing” of which reinforces this conclusion, since these anomalies coincide with the Tour of Portugal 2015, 2017 and 2018″, estimates the CAS.
Thus, the college chaired by the Frenchwoman Carine Dupeyron rejects the appeal of the 36-year-old cyclist, confirming the four-year suspension pronounced by the UCI until October 20, 2023, and the cancellation of all the sports results of the former W52-FC runner. Porto between July 28, 2015, the date of the first “negative” result, and October 21, 2019, so the Spaniard “loses” the two Tours of Portugal won.
Alarcón was suspended by the UCI on May 8, 2021, having already been provisionally suspended on October 21, 2019.
The Spaniard, who has always claimed his innocence, appealed to the CAS, which has just endorsed the decision of the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal, refuting in particular the assertion that “there are several factors which affect the volume of plasma and that influence hematological parameters, which are not related to doping practices”.
The CAS panel also refuted other defense arguments, which insisted that the athlete’s biological passport presented “no anomaly”, such as “insufficient storage of samples”, “failure in the chain of custody” of the samples or “lack of qualification” of the anti-doping agents who collected the blood.