Two-time Mexican national champion Luis Villalobos has been suspended for four years for doping.
Cycling’s governing body, UCI, said on Wednesday that a court found the presence of a growth hormone-releasing substance called GHRP-6 in a sample provided by the rider in 2019 as he was with the US team Aevolo.
The substance is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances and is used to accelerate weight loss and increase muscle mass.
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The 23-year-old was provisionally suspended in May last year from his new EF Pro Cycling team when the UCI wrote to the team about a potential doping violation.
“If we had known, we wouldn’t have signed Luis,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters.
“The onus for this falls on the UCI as there is no internal testing program that has access to the level of equipment necessary to screen for GHRP-6.”
Luis Villalobos bei der Polen-Rundfahrt 2019
Image credit: Getty Images
Villalobos won the national time trial in Mexico in 2018 and 2019.
He was named the best young rider of the Tour of Utah, where he also placed fourth in a stage and then eighth overall.
During his stint with EF Pro Cycling, the Mexican rider competed in the Tour of Poland, Tour of Great Britain, EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg and Brittany Classic in 2019.
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