The UCI has revealed that eight cyclists failed aanti-doping controls at this year's Vuelta a Colombia, which took place over 12 stages in August.
The race, classified as 2.2 within the UCI Americas Tour, was won by Aristobulo Cala of the Bicicletas Strongman team.
Following what was described by world cycling's governing body as an "intelligence led" operation, seven riders were found to have tested positive for CERA, the third generation of the banned blood booster, EPO.
An eighth returned a positive test for a banned steroid.
In a statement, the UCI said:
Eight riders were notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) in samples during the Vuelta a Colombia 2017.
The riders Luis Alberto Largo Quintero, Jonathan Felipe Paredes Hernandez, Edward Fabian Diaz Cardenas, Fabio Nelson Montenegro Forero, Luis Camargo Flechas, Fabian Robinson Lopez Rivera and Oscar Soliz Vilca were notified of an AAF of CERA* in blood samples collected on 1 and 2 August 2017.
The rider Juan Carlos Cadena Sastoque was notified of an AAF of 19-noretiocholanolone and 19-norandrosterone** in a urine sample provided on 11 August 2017.
These intelligence-led doping controls were planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.
The riders have the opportunity to request and attend the analysis of the B sample.
In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the riders have been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the matter.
At this stage of the procedure, the UCI will not comment any further on any of these cases.
(*) CERA is classified as “Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics” as per the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List 2017.
(**) 19-noretiocholanolone and 19-norandrosterone are classified as “Anabolic Androgenic Steroids” as per the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List 2017.
It's the most riders we can remember being caught doping in a single race in recent years - though if you know differently, please let us know in the comments!
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.