Burgos-BH is voluntarily suspending itself from racing to start the 2019 season.
Three of the team’s riders have been sanctioned for doping violations dating back to 2017. With multiple transgressions over the last two seasons, the Spanish Pro Continental team is at risk of a team-wide suspension from the UCI according to anti-doping rules. The UCI has yet to announce a sanction for the squad, but Burgos-BH says it will not participate in the Tropicale Amissa Bongo or the Challenge Mallorca series early next year.
“We have decided to voluntarily carry out a self-suspension from competition to dedicate ourselves exclusively to the prevention of doping and introspection with the new team,” team manager Julio Andrés Izquierdo said in a statement.
David Belda became the first in a series of doping violations for Burgos-BH when he tested positive for EPO last year. Igor Merino tested positive for growth hormone in June of 2018, and then Ibai Salas registered a violation with his biological passport values this fall.
In the wake of those violations, Burgos-BH plans to hold a team camp working to improve the team’s anti-doping stance early next year, instead of participating in races during that time. The team says staff members will work to improve self-policing efforts in the future.
“It is fundamental for us that our cyclists and all our staff members understand the importance of clean sport, where healthy habits prevail and there is no place for cheating,” the squad said in its statement.
Burgos-BH has announced its intention to suspend itself from competition to the UCI. It remains to be seen whether the UCI will take further steps to sanction the team.