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Portuguese athlete Ornelas first be banned under Biological Passport testing

Banned Portuguese athlete Helder Ornelas crosses the line after winning the Prague Marathon in 2007.

Story highlights

  • Portuguese athlete Helder Ornelas gets four-year ban
  • Ornelas first to be sanctioned under IAAF Athlete Biological Passport program
  • Abnormalities in his blood profile were detected over a period of a year
  • The 38-year-old Ornelas won the Milan Marathon in 2005

Portuguese distance runner Helder Ornelas has been handed a four-year ban after becoming the first athlete to fall foul of the IAAF's Biological Passport program.

After abnormalities in his "blood profile" were flagged up in May 2011, the world governing body went back to scrutinize a series of blood test results for the 38-year-old between December 2009 and November 2010.

Three experts in the field of haematology concluded Ornelas had used a prohibited substance or a prohibited method and the IAAF referred the case to the Portuguese Athletic Federation for adjudication.

Citing "aggravating circumstances" the IAAF sought an increased four-year sanction despite it being a Ornelas' first doping offense.

Ornelas, who won the Milan Marathon in 2005 and finished eighth in the long race at the 2001 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, did not exercise his right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

IAAF President Lamine Diack said: "Those who try to cheat within the athletics community should be warned that the Athlete Biological Passport is not merely a concept but rather an efficient method to identify, target and catch those who believe that doping is the only route to success.

    "Cheaters should also be aware that, if they are caught, the IAAF will seek an increased four-year sanction whenever the circumstances so justify," he added in a statement released Wednesday.