Spanish cyclist Ibai Salas Zorrozua has been handed a four-year ban after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled he committed an anti-doping rule violation further to abnormalities in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).
The case stemmed from six blood samples provided by Salas between January 25 and August 3 in 2017, which were analysed by the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) accredited laboratory in Barcelona.
A panel unanimously concluded on February 28 in 2018 that Salas' ABP revealed multiple abnormalities, with the cyclist given a four-year ban by the Spanish Doping Agency on October 3, along with a €3,001 fine (£2,700/$3,500).
The sanction was lifted by the Administrative Court of Sport in Spain on February 8 in 2019, however.
The court reportedly ruled that the ABP was not sufficient to prove an infringement.
The case was appealed by the WADA to CAS, with the anti-doping watchdog seeking to have the four-year ban reinstated.
A CAS panel deemed that "the values detected in the athlete's ABP were highly abnormal and indicated a high probability of doping" and said that no contradictory evidence existed.
Salas was not able to provide credible reasons to explain the abnormality in the values, it was ruled.
The arbitrators also considered the timing of the detection relative to his competitions and Salas was ultimately ruled to have committed an anti-doping rule violation by the panel.
His four-year sanction began yesterday, as Salas was free to compete pending the outcome of the case.
Results achieved by Salas from January 25 in 2017 to the start of the ban have also been disqualified.
He will forfeit any medals, points and prizes earned during the period.
Salas had ridden for Spanish based team Burgos BH between 2014 and 2018.