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Raul Portillo won the time trial and road race in the 40-45 age category last year

Raúl Portillo, the Spanish Gran Fondo world champion for the 40-45 age group, has been suspended following a positive test for EPO.

The UCI Gran Fondo World Series is a series of UCI-sanctioned races from which the top 25 per cent in each age group qualify for the UCI Granfondo World Championships. Each age group winner at the Gran Fondo World Championships is awarded a rainbow jersey.

El Correo reports that Portillo, who won both the time trial and the road race in his age category, recently tested positive for EPO along with 36-year-old Basque rider José Antonio Larrea.

Both riders have been suspended but have the right to request the testing of their B samples.

Speaking in 2016, the then chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), Nicole Sapstead, said that the full extent of doping in amateur sport was hard to quantify as so much information was anecdotal. Nevertheless, there have been plenty of cases in cycling.

In 2015, British Masters 35-39 champion Andrew Hastings was banned from all sport for four years after testing positive for two different types of anabolic steroids; news which coincided with Junior National 10-mile Time Trial champion Gabriel Evans revealing that he had confessed to UKAD to using EPO earlier in the year.

A year later, national 12-hour time trial champion, Robin Townsend, was handed a four-year ban in 2016 after testing positive for the stimulant modafinil. His claim that the positive test resulted from his bottle being spiked while he left his bike unattended during registration for the event was not accepted by Ukad.

Earlier this year, a 42-year-old US amateur cyclist was handed a four-year ban after testing positive for five banned substances. Cat 3 racer, Michel Carrillo, had been tested as part of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s RaceClean Program which focuses on amateur events.

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