The Manzana Postobon team have announced they are to cease operation with immediate effect and will not ride another race.
This comes after the UCI were set to suspend the Colombian team due to two of their riders returning Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) during out-of-competition testing in the same twelve-month period.
This meant the UCI automatically triggered an anti-doping rule that provides for the suspension of the team for a period of between 15 to 45 days, with the UCI saying they will “refer the matter to the Disciplinary Commission which will render a decision in due course”.
However, team boss Alejandro Restrepo Ecavarría issued a statement on the Manzana Postobon website saying “we have made the decision not to continue with the team, which is why, as of this day, the team will not participate in the upcoming competitions in the national and international calendar.”
Ecavarría added that the AAFs were nothing to do with the team, and that the involvement of the discovered AAFs were on a “personal basis”, before thanking sponsors and supporters, saying “unfortunately this problem that surrounds us in the sport prevented us from moving forward.
“We are convinced that clean and responsible sport has the ability to give us great triumphs and make us excited as a country.
“We call the athletes and cycling teams of the country to strengthen the commitment to fight against doping, increase internal controls, integrally train riders to protect their environments. That is the best way to avoid situations such as those that make us say goodbye to cycling today.”
Juan José Amador was the latest Manzana Postobon rider to fail a drugs test, with the UCI announcing on May 20 the 21-year-old had returned an adverse analytical finding for the banned steroid Boldenone.
Amador, who had ridden for Manzana Postobon since 2017, has denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement posted on social media: “Since I was a child I’ve been in the Manzana Postobon team.
“During my time in the team, they’ve ensured I play clean and that I be a sportsman with integrity in line with the principles of the team and with my philosophy of life.
“I do not accept this test.”
Amador was the second Manzana Postobon rider to be suspended in the last 12 months, after Wilmar Andres Pares Zapata tested positive for EPO in February.