Salas handed long-term ban for bio passport offence

Spanish media have reported that Burgos-BH rider Ibai Salas has received a three-year, nine-month sentence for a possible biological passport offence.

The 27-year-old Basque rider, a pro with Burgos-BH since 2014, can make a final appeal to a Spanish state sports tribunal, Spanish sports daily AS reports, but it has not yet emerged if he will do so.

The case was first leaked to the media in June, but neither it nor the sentence have been made public.

On a personal level, Izquierdo, who has been working in cycling for over three decades, said the case was "very upsetting".

This summer another Burgos-BH rider, Igor Meriño, was provisionally suspended, and removed from the team, after testing positive for growth hormone. Burgos-BH also form part of the MPCC, and there are reports that, with a third Burgos-BH rider, David Belda, given a four-year ban early in 2017, the MPCC's own, non-legally binding, anti-doping regulations and suspensions could now be applied to the Spanish squad.

Should the Merino and Salas cases be confirmed, Burgos-BH now risk suffering the consequences of a UCI regulation, which states that teams with two positive tests in a period of 12 months can be suspended for a period of up to six weeks.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.