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!
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.