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Domingos Gonçalves handed four-year ban for Biological Passport abnormalities

ALTO DA FIA PORTUGAL FEBRUARY 21 Andre Maciel Domingos Goncalves of Portugal and Team Caja RuralSeguros Rga during the 45th Volta ao Algarve Stage 2 a 1874 km stage from Almodvar to Alto Da Fia 900m VA VAlgarve2019 on February 21 2019 in Alto Da Fia Portugal Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Domingos Gonçalves at the 2019 Volta ao Algarve (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Portuguese rider Domingos Gonçalves has been handed a four-year suspension by the UCI for 'use of prohibited substance', based on abnormalities detected in his Biological Passport in 2016 and 2018.

The 31-year-old has been provisionally suspended from the sport since December 2019, but a recent update to the UCI's sanctions list showed that Gonçalves has been banned. The period of ineligibility runs from December 2019, meaning he would be able to return to the sport in December 2023.

After his provisional suspension in 2019, his team, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, faced a ban from racing after ex-rider Jaime Roson was handed a four-year ban for Biological Passport abnormalities dating to January 2017. However, the team avoided a possible 15 to 45-day ban after presenting an argument to the UCI.

Gonçalves spent two years of his career – 2016 and 2019 at the second-tier Spanish team, with whom he rode the Vuelta a España as well as several other WorldTour races, including Tirreno-Adriatico and Itzulia.

Much of his eight-year pro career has seen him race at Continental level, spending much of his time at Portuguese team Onda/Radio Popular-Boavista. He has twice been a national time trial champion, also winning the Portuguese road title and a stage of the Volta a Portugal in 2018.

Gonçalves' results from July 2018 to the end of 2019 will be wiped as a result of his ban, meaning he'll lose his Volta a Portugal stage win and ninth place overall.

His twin brother, José, came up through the Continental ranks with him, and has enjoyed a more successful, controversy-free career. He raced for Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 2015 and 2016 before spending three years at WorldTour level with Katusha.

His palmarès includes the Ster ZLM Tour, the Tour of Turkey, two stages of the Volta a Portugal and two national time trial titles. He now rides for French ProTeam Delko.

Daniel joined Cyclingnews as staff writer in August 2019 after working as a freelance journalist for seven years, including time spent working for Cyclingnews and sister magazine, Procycling.