Miguel Ángel López temporarily suspended by Astana Qazaqstan after reports linking him to drug trafficking investigation
The Colombian rider was met by police investigating drug trafficking and money laundering crimes at Madrid Airport.
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Miguel Ángel López has been temporarily suspended by the Astana Qazaqstan team following reports linking him to a drug trafficking investigation.
The team said it was “surprised” by the allegations and that the Colombian rider would not race until the situation had been “clarified.”
Spanish website Ciclo21 reported that police in the country were scrutinizing his connections to doctor Marcos Maynar, a professor at the University of Extremadura.
Also read: Astana’s Miguel Ángel López linked to drug trafficking investigation
The doctor is under investigation by the Spanish police for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering crimes. Ciclo21 reported that López was intercepted at Madrid Airport by police in connection to the investigation into Maynar.
“The news that was spread in the media yesterday evening caught us by surprise, and at the moment we do not have any details. In this regard, the team decided to suspend Miguel Angel Lopez from any activity within the team until all the circumstances of the case are clarified,” a brief Twitter statement from the team read.
According to the media report, López was initially a witness in the case. However, he is now being investigated as part of the case, which means that he could be held criminally liable.
López was returning to Europe from Colombia to race at the Prueba Villafranca-Clásica de Ordizia on Monday. The one-day race would have been his first event since abandoning the Giro d’Italia during stage 4 due to a hip injury.
Maynar was arrested on drug trafficking and money laundering charges on May 11 and appeared in court the following day and has since been ordered to report to court every two weeks. According to Ciclo21, he said that is “conscience is clear” and that he hoped that he would not be convicted.
López is due to appear in court in connection with the Maynar case in the fall in Cáceres, in Extremadura, after competing at the Vuelta a España. However, his participation in that event is now uncertain due to his suspension.
The news that was spread in the media yesterday evening caught us by surprise, and at the moment we do not have any details. In this regard, the team decided to suspend Miguel Angel Lopez from any activity within the team until all the circumstances of the case are clarified.
— Astana Qazaqstan Team (@AstanaQazTeam) July 22, 2022