Venezuelan has not ridden since April, linked to Italian doping investigation
Jose Rujano announced his retirement from pro cycling, in an interview with a South American newspaper. Most recently with Dutch team Vacansoleil-DCM, he has not raced in Europe since the Tour de Romandie in April.
“I'm retiring from cycling not for lack of condition, but because of the many problems I've had nationally and internationally and lack of support from those who govern cycling in the country," the Venezuelan rider told the Diairio de los Andes.
"Rujano hasn't informed us yet," team spokesman Frank Kwanten told Cyclingnews. "He has a one-year contract."
In March, his name was mentioned in connection with Operation Amateur, a doping investigation into the trafficking of doping products such as EPO, CERA and Retacrit in Italy. Rujano denied an involvement. However, it was enough for Vacansoleil to leave the climber off of its Giro d'Italia team, especially in light of its search for a new sponsor.
His last race for the team was the Tour de Romandie the end of April. He also just won the Colombian national time trial title.
Rujano, 31, turned pro in 2003 with Colombia-Selle Italia, where he stayed until 2006. It was one of the few teams at which he spent more than one season. Since then he has been with QuickStep, Unibet.com, Caisse d'Epargne, Gobernacion del Zulia, ISD-Neri, Androni Giacattoli and Vacansoleil.
In 2012, riding for Androni-Giacattoli, he abandoned the Giro d'Italia on the 19th stage, claiming to suffer from mononucleosis. The team disputed his claim of illness, and he did not ride for them again the remainder of the season.
Rujano finished third overall in the 2005 Giro, winning one stage and the mountains ranking. He won two more stages at the Giro in 2011 and finished sixth overall.