Rui Costa (Caisse d'Epargne), who tested positive for Methylhexanamine in June, may well have to accept a one-year ban despite the fact that the substance had "reappeared in a number of nutritional supplements and was therefore subject to potential inadvertent use by athletes," according to the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA.
Costa and his brother, who was also positive, maintain that they were contaminated by a food supplement, and WADA has recently changed its rules to allow for greater tolerance because of the increased risk of unintentional use of the drug.
But the Portuguese Anti-Doping Council CNAD has denied to reduce the sentence for Costa to four months and 15 days, as the Portuguese cycling federation had pleaded. "The CNAD doe not agree, as article 10.5.2 of the WADA Code stipulates that the sanction cannot be reduced to more than half of the infraction's punishment," the CNAD stated in a press release.
Now, Costa's fate is in the hands of federation's Disciplinary Committee, but Luis Horta, president of the national anti-doping authority, may appeal the decision.