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Report: Miguel Ángel López looking for new team despite 2023 contract with Astana

Reports suggest relationship between López and Astana broke down after he was implicated in a police investigation into drug trafficking.

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Despite having a contract for next season, Miguel Ángel López is reportedly looking to leave Astana-Qazaqstan and ride for a new team in 2023.

According to a report on Spanish website Zikloland, the relationship between López and Astana is not as harmonious as it once was after the rider was implicated in a drug trafficking investigation.

Astana temporarily suspended López after news broke that he had been questioned by Spanish police as part of an investigation into Dr. Marcos Maynar relating to drug trafficking and money laundering.

The Colombian strenuously denied any involvement any crimes and was reinstated on the team’s racing program. At the time, Astana said it was “not in a position” to “further deprive” López of his contractual right to race in the absence of any findings by the Spanish authorities of cycling’s governing body the UCI.

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López had only returned to Astana this season after a failed switch to Movistar in 2021. The 28-year-old looked to be settling into the Spanish squad well and signed a two-year extension shortly before the Vuelta a España of that year.

However, the relationship between rider and team catastrophically broke down on the penultimate stage following a disagreement that saw López step off the bike and abandon the race in dramatic fashion.

He returned to Astana with a two-year contract, but that may also end prematurely if López can find a way out of his current deal. López was Astana’s top performer this season and took fourth at the Vuelta a España.