Berliner Tageblatt - Four-year doping ban for Colombia's Lopez

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Four-year doping ban for Colombia's Lopez
Four-year doping ban for Colombia's Lopez / Photo: © AFP

Four-year doping ban for Colombia's Lopez

Colombia's Miguel Angel Lopez has been banned from cycling for four years over a possession and use offence dating from shortly prior to the 2022 Giro d'Italia, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Wednesday.

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The 30-year-old is one of Colombia's best loved cyclists and is nicknamed 'Superman' after he beat up a gang of bike thieves as a junior rider.

But on Wednesday the man who came third in both the Giro and Vuelta in 2018 was banned until July 2027 for possession and use of prohibited hormone treatment menotropin.

"In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations, the period of suspension began on July 25, 2023 and will remain in effect until July 24, 2027," the UCI said.

The UCI handed Lopez a provisional ban after evidence obtained from police in Spain and the Spanish National Anti-Doping Organisation.

In December 2022, Lopez was fired by the Astana team, who claim he had links to Marcos Maynar -- a Spanish doctor at the heart of a doping investigation which led to Lopez being held at Madrid airport.

After being sacked by Astana, Lopez signed with Team Medellin-EPM with whom he won the Tour of Colombia and the Tour of San Juan.

Lopez denied any connection to doping at the time and had never previously tested positive.