French WorldTour pro cyclist suspended for anti-doping ‘abnormalities’

Franck Bonnamour's biological passport is under investigation by the UCI

Franck Bonnamour leading the group at the Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Getty Images)

French professional cyclist Franck Bonnamour has been provisionally suspended by the UCI due to “unexplained abnormalities” in his anti-doping record. 

The 28-year-old, who rides for WorldTour team Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale, will therefore not be able to compete in races while the case is open. 

It is unknown at this stage whether Bonnamour has returned a positive anti-doping test. The UCI did not expand on what the “abnormalities” referred to are. 

In a short statement shared on Monday afternoon, the governing body wrote: “The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) informs that French rider Franck Bonnamour has been provisionally suspended in accordance with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules due to unexplained abnormalities in his Biological Passport.” 

All WorldTour and ProTour riders have a biological passport, an electronic record of all of their doping tests. The measure was introduced in 2008 and is run by an independent entity, the International Testing Agency (ITA), who complete blood and urine tests in and out of competition.

Riders are responsible for updating their own location, or ‘whereabouts’, so tests can be carried out at any time of the year, no matter where they are. 

Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale responded to the UCI's decision with a social media statement, confirming its cooperation with Bonnamour's suspension.

"[The UCI's] decision is based on tests carried out before [Bonnamour] joined the team on January 1, 2023," the team wrote. "In this context and while the UCI procedure is ongoing, the team provisionally suspends Franck Bonnamour with immediate effect.

"The Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale team advocates the practice of cycling in accordance with stringent ethical rules."

Bonnamour competed last month at the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia, where he finished 54th overall. 

The Frenchman is scheduled to next take the start line in the one-day Classic Var on 16 February, and then the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var the following day, however his participation in both is now in doubt. 

The UCI did not stipulate how long Bonnamour’s provisional suspension will last, but said “proceedings are ongoing”. 

A popular breakaway figure at the Tour de France, earning him the Super Combatif title in 2021, Bonnamour has won one race in his decade-long career, the minor French event La Polynormande, while riding for B&B Hotels - KTM in 2022. He was previously part of Arkéa Samsic's squad, having turned pro with the team as a trainee in 2015. 

Since joining AG2R in 2023, he has ridden mostly within his native France.

The UCI has said it will not provide further comments on Bonnamour’s suspension as long as proceedings are underway.

Cycling Weekly has contacted Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale for further comment. 

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