Counter-analysis of samples from former-Liberty Seguros riders Nuno Ribeiro, Isidro Nozal and Hector Guerra have confirmed the riders' positive results for EPO-CERA, according to reports in Portuguese and Spanish newspapers on Wednesday.
Portugal's Diario di Notas reported that the International Cycling Union (UCI) had confirmed Ribeiro's counter-analysis to the Portuguese Cycling Federation (UVP-FPC) and Liberty Seguros, who withdrew from cycling immediately after the announcement of the original positive test results on September 18. Spanish daily Marca reported that the UCI has also reported a positive finding to the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) in the cases of Nozal and Guerra.
The positive tests were based on samples taken from the rider prior to August's Tour of Portugal. Ribeiro won a stage and the overall at the race, but is now expected to be stripped of the title. Spain's David Blanco (Palmeiras Resort/Tavira) will be instated as race winner, his third overall victory in the race. Guerra, too, is likely to have his stage 10 time trial victory withdrawn from race records.
The trio were issued provisional suspensions after the release of the original test results. The confirmation of the counter-analysis result will clear the way for the UVP-FCP and RFEC to open disciplinary action against the riders, who could face a two-year ban from competition if found guilty of doping.
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