LONDON May 2 Portuguese long distance runner
Helder Ornelas has been banned for four years by his country's
federation after becoming the first athlete to be found guilty
of doping using the Athlete Biological Passport.
The suspension of the 38-year-old, who ran the 5,000m at the
Sydney Olympics and the marathon in Beijing, marks a
breakthrough in the fight against doping, IAAF president Lamine
"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 that is now
being used by the IAAF Anti-Doping Department to identify,
target and catch those who believe that doping is the only route
to success," he said in a statement.
"Cheaters should also be aware that, if they are caught, the
IAAF will seek an increased four-year sanction whenever the
circumstances so justify."
The IAAF did not reveal what the banned substance was but
said blood samples from Ornelas has been collected in the course
of the Biological Passport programme during a 11-month period
from December 2009.
Ornelas's blood profile was flagged as being abnormal in May
2011, triggering further investigations in accordance with IAAF
"After examination by a panel of experts in the field of
haematology, it was concluded that there was no known reasonable
explanation for abnormalities observed in Ornelas's blood
profile other than use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited
method," the statement added.
The IAAF referred the case to the Portuguese Athletic
Federation (FPA), recommending a four-year ban for a serious
first-time doping offence.
Ornelas has declined his right to appeal to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the IAAF said.
The Athlete Biological Passport will be used for the first
time at an Olympics in London this year.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Justin Palmer)