Carlos Pereira, sports director for the Portuguese Continental team Barbot-Siper, has admitted to A Bola that one of his riders, Joaquín Ortega, tested positive for EPO prior to the Tour of Portugal. Ortega won the sixth stage of the national event, but returned a positive sample before the stage race and will now face a two-year ban, on top of losing his victory.
Pereira assured the newspaper that the team did not have anything to do with the positive test result, saying that it was the sole responsibility of the rider. Moreover, he announced that the team would carry out internal controls in 2011 in order to make sure the squad's riders remain clean.
José Mendes (LA Aluminios-Rota dos Móveis), second-placed behind Ortega on stage six of the Tour of Portugal, should receive the winner's honours as soon as the disciplinary process has been finalised.