Former Portuguese national champion given four year ban for doping

Irregular readings from 2018 and 2019 were found in Domingos Gonçalves' biological passport

Domingos Gonçalves (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Portuguese champion, Domingos Gonçalves, has been banned from racing for four years after returning irregular readings from doping tests between 2018 and 2019 while riding for Rádio Popular-Boavista.

He's had all of his results over that period annulled, including the Portuguese road race and time trial titles he took in 2018.

All four of Gonçalves' career wins have come in Portugal, but three of those wins have been chalked off with just his first career win at the Portuguese time trial championships remaining.

The 31-year-old received a provisional suspension in December 2019, at which point he had rejoined Spanish outfit Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, and therefore will be allowed to return to racing from December 2023 when he is 33.

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This ban comes as the MPCC reveals cycling has moved down to eighth in the Movement For Credible Cycling’s 2020 ‘credibility barometer’, where they list which sport has had the most doping cases each year.

Cycling moved down three spaces from last year's ranking, with 18 cases in 2020. The number of cases had doubled from 2018 to 32 in 2019, which the MPCC described as a "brutal year".

While the drop in cases for cycling is encouraging, the MPCC has said it should be looked at with a pinch of salt as the global pandemic may have meant some cases haven't been detected due to less testing both in and outside of competition. WADA says there was an 18.6 per cent fall in positive tests across all sports compared to 2019, and down 30 per cent on 2018’s number.

The MPCC also showed the cases by country, the USA having the most with 76 and Russia in second with 42. Italy led Europe's cases with the UK second for doping.

One encouraging figure, the MPCC say, is the lowest recorded number of doping cases in the WorldTour since its inception in 2005, with only three at WorldTour or ProTeam level.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.