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Andre Cardoso banned four years for doping

Cycling: 99th Tour of Italy 2016 / Stage 9

Cycling: 99th Tour of Italy 2016 / Stage 9 Andre Fernando CARDOSO (POR)/ Radda in Chianti - Greve in Chianti (40,5km)/ Time Trial / ITT / Giro / (Photo by Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images)

Corbis via Getty Images

AIGLE, Switzerland -- The International Cycling Union says it imposed a four-year ban on Portuguese rider Andre Cardoso for doping with EPO ahead of the 2017 Tour de France.

The UCI says its anti-doping tribunal gave its verdict, in a case opened almost 17 months ago.

Cardoso tested positive for the endurance boosting hormone two weeks before the Tour.

He was suspended by Trek-Segafredo, which selected Cardoso as a specialist climber to support team leader Alberto Contador.

The 34-year-old Cardoso had career top-20 finishes in the Giro d’Italia and Spanish Vuelta, and competed in the road races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.