Eolo-Kometa team manager Ivan Basso has denied that the team he manages with Alberto Contador is interested in signing Miguel Angel López, who is currently provisionally suspended for a potential anti-doping rule violation.
Reports of López’s possible future emerged in Colombia late last week, with several local media picking up the news from Antena 2+.
López’s compatriots Jhonatan Restrepo and Germán Darío Gómez have already been announced as new signings for Eolo-Komerta, which will be known as Team Polto Kometa in 2024, but Basso insisted that the team is not interested in signing López.
“We all know that Miguel Ángel López is a very good rider, and a very strong climber, but he is not part of our plans and we’ve never talked about him within the team,” Basso told Tuttobiciweb and other media, preferring to focus on other new signings.
“I can say that we will announce two important transfer news in the coming days. As they say… stay tuned.”
The signing is widely expected to be Matteo Fabbro, who’s contract with Bora-Hansgrohe ends this year.
In July the UCI announced that López had been provisionally suspended for the “use and possession of a prohibited substance in the weeks prior to the Giro d’Italia 2022.”
The action came after an investigation conducted by the International Testing Agency (ITA), the independent body that performs anti-doping controls and investigations for the UCI.
ITA obtained evidence from Operacion Ilex performed by the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Spanish Anti-Doping Organisation (CELAD). López was linked to Operacion Ilex for his connections to doctor Marcos Maynar who is at the centre of the Spanish investigation.
Maynar was arrested on May 11th, one day after López’s surprise withdrawal from the Giro d’Italia due to a leg injury. News about the arrest led Astana to suspend López on July 22, 2022, “until all the circumstances of the case are clarified”. After seeing evidence that López had a “probable connection with Dr Marcos Maynar” Astana terminated López’s contract in December.
He joined the Medellin-EPM Continental team for the 2023 season and won the Vuelta a San Juan, dominated the Vuelta a Colombia and a host of other small races before being suspended.
Operacion Ilex was back in the headlines last week after the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team made a police complaint in Spain after the anonymous distribution of evidence from investigation linking its riders to Dr…