Miguel Ángel López free to ride for Astana Qazaqstan again after nothing found in police investigation

Colombian will return at the Vuelta a Burgos and the Vuelta a España this month

Miguel Ángel López at the Giro d'Italia 2022
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Miguel Ángel López is set to return to racing for Astana Qazaqstan after nothing was found in investigations by the UCI or Spanish police.

The 28-year-old Colombian was suspended by his team last month after being questioned by Spanish police in connection to a controversial doctor currently under investigation.

The rider was intercepted by agents from the Central Operation Unit (UCO), part of the Guardia Civil, at Madrid-Barajas airport after arriving on a flight from Colombia in July. Allegedly, he was connected with the case of Marcos Maynar Mariño. Maynar Mariño, a professor at the University of Extremadura, is under investigation in Spain for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering.

However, after both the investigation by Spain's Guardia Civil and cycling's governing body, the UCI, produced no evidence of wrongdoing by López, his suspension has been lifted.

In a statement released on Monday morning, a team spokesman said that the Colombian was now "provisionally reintegrated" into the squad. He will race the Vuelta a Burgos, which starts on Tuesday, and then the Vuelta a España, which begins on the 17 August.

It read: "Based on the information received, Astana Qazaqstan Team was advised that in the absence of any finding by either the Spanish authorities or the UCI, it was not in a position to continue the suspension or further deprive the rider of his contractual rights."

The team confirmed that they have forward all the information they have on the rider to the International Testing Agency.

López last raced at the Giro d'Italia, where he was forced to withdraw on stage four after injuring his hip. He has won three stages at the Vuelta before, including one last year before he quit the race in confusing circumstances while sitting in third on general classification. He has also finished third overall, in 2018. 

The full statement from Astana reads: "As it was communicated earlier, following the news of Miguel Ángel López’s questioning by Spanish Police in connection with an investigation on Dr. Maynar, Astana Qazaqstan Team suspended Miguel Ángel López pending clarification of the status of the proceedings.

"Based on the information received, Astana Qazaqstan Team was advised that in the absence of any finding by either the Spanish authorities or the UCI, it was not in a position to continue the suspension or further deprive the rider of his contractual rights. Miguel Ángel López is thus provisionally reintegrated as part of Astana Qazaqstan Team and will return to the previously agreed racing plan (Vuelta a Burgos and then Vuelta a España).

"Astana Qazaqstan Team has forwarded all the information received to the International Testing Agency, which is in charge of anti-doping investigations on behalf of the UCI. The Team will monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to take resolute measures depending on the development of the situation."

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Adam Becket
Adam Becket

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.