UCI suspends Miguel Angel Lopez for alleged doping and may not be the only one
The investigation into Miguel Angel Lopez's relationship with Dr. Marcos Maynar and a network of trafficking of doping substances would have new evidence that has led the UCI to take the decision to suspend the cyclist as a precautionary measure, citing a possible violation of anti-doping rules.
Superman Lopez in the spotlight again
The UCI continues to close the siege around Miguel Angel Lopez and his relationship with the network of trafficking of doping substances allegedly led by Dr. Marcos Maynar uncovered by the Guardia Civil in 2014 in what is known as operation Ilex. An operation of which only the names of Maynar and Lopez have transcended although, according to some sources, several cycling team managers and a swimming coach are involved.
In December, shortly before the start of the 2023 season, Astana decided to unilaterally terminate the contract with the cyclist, which led Miguel Ángel López to move to Colombia, where he found a place in the ranks of Team Medellín, with whom he has had a successful season on the American continental calendar.
However, the UCI has decided to provisionally suspend the rider, who had set his sights on the next World Championships in Glasgow, thanks to the evidence provided by the Guardia Civil and the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency that would demonstrate a violation by the cyclist of the rules regarding the use and possession of doping substances. A provisional suspension that will be maintained until a definitive resolution is adopted, according to the brief statement issued by the highest cycling body.
For its part, Team Medellin issued a statement of support for its rider pointing out, as usual in these cases, that Lopez has not tested positive in any control while calling on all their fans to also support the cyclist.
The last few years of Miguel Angel Lopez have been a real soap opera after joining Movistar Team in 2021, from which he left abruptly after abandoning La Vuelta a España for no reason. He would find a place back at Astana, his lifelong team with whom he had an acceptable season with a 4th place in the overall classification of La Vuelta as the most outstanding result.
However, by then the Guardia Civil was already on his trail in relation to the Illex operation, and he was searched in July 2022 upon his arrival at Barajas airport and, in December, with the season about to begin, the Kazakh team decided to dispense with the services of the Colombian cyclist after new aspects of his relationship with Doctor Maynar became known.
Unlike his compatriot Nairo Quintana, Lopez accepted the offer of the Medellin team to join their ranks and has continued to compete and achieve numerous victories, most notably the one achieved in the Vuelta a San Juan ahead of Filippo Ganna and Sergio Higuita.
The future looks dark for Superman Lopez, taking into account that when the UCI takes a measure as forceful as the precautionary suspension is that it must have observed clear evidence of non-compliance with the rules. A suspension that practically rules out his participation in the Road World Championships, in which Lopez had placed his hopes to show again at the highest level of cycling, hoping in this way to attract the gaze of a European squad with which to return to cycling at the highest level.