W52-FC Porto makes clarification on participation in the Volta a Portugal

The team confirms its presence in a statement signed by Adriano Quintanilha.

The W52-FC Porto issued this Monday a statement about the participation in the 83rd edition of the Volta a Portugal, as Adriano Quintanilha had already advanced.

The team states that it “has always fought for the truth and fair-play in sports, as well as for the condemnation of the use of any doping substances”, and is “actively collaborating with the Regulatory and Supervisory entities of cycling in Portugal, (…), in search for sporting truth”, and confirms the presence in the competition “without the integration of suspended athletes”.

On July 15, eight cyclists and two W52-FC Porto staff were preventively suspended by the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal (ADoP) as part of the Clean Proof operation.

The following day, the identity of six of these cyclists was known when they were prevented from lining up in the third stage of the Grand Prix Douro Internacional, which was eventually won by José Neves, the only representative of the team that continued in the race.

Ricardo Vilela and José Gonçalves were removed, in addition to four former winners of the Volta a Portugal: João Rodrigues (2019), Rui Vinhas (2016), Ricardo Mestre (2011) and Joni Brandão, who inherited the victory in the 2018 edition after being disqualified. , by doping, of the also dragon Raúl Alarcón.

On Friday, the organization of the Volta a Portugal confirmed the presence of the W52-FC Porto in the 83rd edition of the competition, which takes place between the 4th and 15th of August, between Lisbon and Gaia, with the director, Joaquim Gomes, arguing that the team is not suspended and that it could participate with other contracted riders in the new registration window, which opens on 1 August.

This Monday, Quintanilha defended that the participation of the dragons in the queen race of the national calendar “will bring added motivation to all athletes and managers, who will know how to fight for victory on the road, honoring a club and a team that has been dominating the national cycling panorama with indisputable merit”.

At the end of April, ten W52-FC Porto runners were accused and the team’s sports director, Nuno Ribeiro, was even arrested, as well as his deputy, José Rodrigues, during the Clean Test operation, in charge of the Investigation Department. and Criminal Action (DIAP) of Porto.

“The police operation, involving a total of about 120 elements from the Northern Directorate and also from the Central and Southern Directorates, from the National Anti-Corruption Unit and from the Criminal Investigation Departments of Braga, Vila Real and Guarda, had still with the collaboration of ADoP”, detailed the PJ, on April 24.

The W52 structure, linked to FC Porto for six seasons, has won the last nine editions of the Volta a Portugal, but the triumphs of its Spanish rider Raúl Alarcón, in 2017 and 2018, were also taken away for “use of methods and/or prohibited substances”.

Check out the full statement

“In view of the latest news published by the media regarding the preventive suspension of eight of its athletes, W52-FC Porto clarifies that it has always fought for the truth and fair-play sports, as well as for the condemnation of the use of any doping substances.

To that extent, it is actively collaborating with cycling regulatory and supervisory bodies in Portugal, namely the FPC/UVP and ADOP, in search of sporting truth.

The team will participate in the 83rd edition of the Volta a Portugal without the integration of suspended athletes.

The results achieved in recent years, with indisputable sporting merit, continue, however, to justify the confidence that the team places in the cyclists in the meantime preventively suspended by ADOP, whose presumption of innocence remains intact until proven otherwise.

This participation, it should be noted, will bring added motivation to all athletes and managers, who will know how to fight for victory on the road, honoring a club and a team that has come to dominate the national cycling scene with indisputable merit.”

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