Miguel Ángel López at the Vuelta a Andalucia.

The UCI has suspended Miguel Ángel López until 2027

The 30-year-old Colombian has received a four-year suspension.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 29.05.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The UCI has suspended Miguel Ángel López until 2027 for the “use and possession of a prohibited substance (Menotropin), concomitantly with the 2022 Giro d’Italia.”

The 30-year-old Colombian, a Tour de France stage winner and a general classification podium finisher at both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, has been provisionally suspended since July 25, 2023, for what was then called a “potential anti-doping rule violation.” Wednesday’s announcement of the suspension is just the latest chapter in a saga that has involved a few twists and turns since then.

In 2022, news reports suggested that López was implicated in the investigations of the so-called Operation Ilex, a probe into activities of Dr. Marcos Maynar. Investigators had reportedly found evidence that López used a banned substance in the run-up to the 2022 Giro, a race he later abandoned, allegedly due to the effects of injecting the banned substance.

The Astana Qazaqstan team suspended López at first but then reinstated him, only to fire him later that year, saying that they had seen new evidence against him. They also apparently opted not to pay him for the remainder of his contract. López went on to join Medellín-EPM, taking several wins with the team before he was suspended by the UCI.

López denied doping, pointing to the fact that he had not tested positive; his provisional suspension and now his current suspension are instead based on information from Spanish authorities.

Spanish media reported that López took Astana to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for nonpayment and that CAS sided in his favor, although as GCN points out, no CAS documentation on any case has been made public.

As of Wednesday, López will be suspended until July 24, 2027, a period of four years backdated to the beginning of his provisional suspension. By the time he can return to racing, López will be 33 years old.

López put out a statement regarding the news on social media.

“I will immediately appeal to the UCI and defend my innocence as I have always done,” he said. “I am confident of returning to the competitive world of cycling.”

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