BARRIO (Cycling News) – Miguel Angel López was kidnapped and robbed on Thursday by thieves who made away with over a van and 800,000 Colombian pesos (around $203) at his home in Boyacá.
The Colombian rider was held by three men for three hours, according to a report by national newspaper El Tiempo. López was held at his farm in Pesca as the group robbed him of his van and a mobile phone as well as the cash.
“They held him and stole his Ford van, a mobile phone, and 800,000 Colombian pesos,” said Colonel María Margarita Mantilla, commander of the Boyacá Police Department.
“At around 10:30 at night, López went to the Sogamoso police station and filed a complaint.”
López had been racing back home for Medellín-EPM in Colombia this year after he was let go by Astana Qazaqstan over his links to the Operation Ibex investigation surrounding Spanish doctor Marcos Maynar, who was arrested last May on charges of crimes against public health, drug trafficking, and money laundering.
Unable to find a team in Europe, he returned to Colombia for 2023, and quickly racked up the wins, including the Vuelta a San Juan, Colombian TT title, as well as the Vuelta a Colombia and eight of the race’s nine stages.
However, he has been unable to race since late July, when the UCI handed down a provisional suspension for the anti-doping rule violation of “use and possession of a prohibited substance in the weeks prior to the Giro d’Italia 2022.”
Maynar, meanwhile, was arrested partway through that same Giro, a day after López’s surprise withdrawal.
After news of López’s kidnapping and robbery broke, his current team posted a message of solidarity to Twitter.
“We send our solidarity to our rider Miguel Angel López, who, in the last few hours, was the victim of a robbery,” the team wrote.
“We invite Colombians to come together around our idol and give him all the support he needs at this time. We are with you, champion.”