Costa tests positive, Portugal gains on Spain.

Costa. Can Portugal pass Spain in number of doped riders?

Fresh news from Spain’s little doped brother, Portugal.

The Portuguese federation reports that Caisse d’Epargne’s Rui Costa and his brother Mario (Super Doped Mario?) who rides for the Barbot team, have tested positive for Methylhexanamine.

Costa will not be using the “tainted Spanish meat” explanation, preferring to go with the contaminated dietary supplement gambit. Costa has no deal for 2011 and guess what, he sure as hell isn’t getting one now.

The Portuguese rider gave the contamination excuse on his Facebook page. Something tells us he’ll be spending plenty of time of Facebook in the coming season.

In the last few years Portugal has made a concerted effort to close the gap with Spain, which has a commanding lead in the number of doped riders. UCI anti-doping expert Marcus Cyringe told Twisted Spoke he believes Portugal is capable of overtaking Spain.

“It’s an exciting battle. Spain took an early lead but I believe the Portuguese are clever — they can win. Their enforcement standards are even lower,” said Cyringe.

Which country will win the coveted “Most Doped Riders” title? Keep counting.

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