Colombian Rider Miguel Ángel López Provisionally suspendedAugust 21, 2023
The UCI has provisionally suspended the Colombian Rider Miguel Ángel López. The colombian name came up during the investigation of Dr Marcos Maynar.
Based on an investigation conducted by the International Testing Agency (ITA), including evidence obtained from the Spanish law enforcement authorities (Guardia Civil) and the Spanish Anti-Doping Organisation (CELAD) during the investigation into Dr Marcos Maynar, the UCI has today notified Miguel Ángel López of a potential anti-doping rule violation (ADRV).
After review of the information and material provided by the ITA on 26 June and 7 July 2023, the Colombian rider has been notified of a potential ADRV for use and possession of a prohibited substance in the weeks prior to the Giro d’Italia 2022.
Lopez withdrew from the Italian race on stage 4.
The UCI has decided to provisionally suspend the rider pending the final decison.
Since 1 January 2021, the operations of the UCI anti-doping programme have been delegated to the ITA. Investigations into potential ADRVs are thus conducted independently by the ITA and, once completed, their outcome is referred to the UCI for results management purposes.
Will clear his name
In a press release the Colombian rider writes:
I am unaware, at this time, of the tests and evidence taken into consideration by the UCI to adopt this decision, but I would like to state for the record that there is no objective evidence of the alleged doping, that all the results of my analyses and my biological passport are negative, and that the undersigned never received, used or even requested any prohibited substance, neither in the Giro d'Italia nor ever before in my career, as was reported to the ICI at the time, and that the undersigned never received, used or even requested any prohibited substance, neither in the Giro d'Italia, nor ever during my sporting career, as, moreover, was reported at the time to the ITA, with whom this cyclist collaborated as requested.
Removed from the team
The Colombian rider was until the end of 2022 a member of the UCI Pro Tour Team Astana. According to the website brujulabike, Lopez was released from the team before the start of the 2023 season.
Lopez managed to land a contract with a new team for 2023. The Colombian rider rode for Team Medellin in the American continental calendar when UCI decided to provisionally suspend the rider.
Connected to doping doctor
The doctor was arrested in 2022 for trafficking doping substances. This is not the first time Maynar is connected to doping.
Operation Ilex is an investigation initiated in early 2021 by the Public Health and Doping Section of the Central Operation Unit of the Civil guard. Agents from this section received information about possible illicit distribution of drugs by a licensed pysician and managed to identify the members of the group involved in these practices, according to the website Cycling Up to Date.
Including Lopez, the cyclist and former sports director Vicente Belda and his son Vincente Belda Garcia are also implicated in the investigation. Vicente Belda was also investigated in Operacion Puerto in 2006 when he rode for the Pro-team Kelme, according to Cycling News.
Operacion Puerto is another doping ring where many international cyclists were involved in.
The Spanish doctor was suspended for 10 years in Portugal for doping practices. The doctor was then connected to the Continental team LA-MSS and the team decided to removed after prescribing or giving forbidden substances to certain cyclists.
- UCI Statement on Miguel Ángel López
- UCI suspends Miguel Angel Lopez for alleged doping and may not be the only one
- Miguel Angel Lopez suspended following potential anti-doping rule violation
- Operation Ilex in Detail
- Names of those involved in Operation Ilex currently unavailable to Spanish anti-doping authorities
- Press release from Miguel Angel Lopez