Retired professional cyclist Juan Pablo Valencia was arrested in Italy on drug trafficking charges after being found in possession of 60 grams of pure cocaine, according to Il Resto del Carlino Thursday. Italian police arrested the Colombian in Montegranaro following an extensive investigation that concluded he made deliveries by bike with the drug hidden in his seat tube.
According to the report, Italian police began an investigation in January after a tip-off about a foreigner trafficking cocaine between Montegranaro, located along the Adriatic Sea coastline in the Marche region, to Northern Italy.
Valencia, 30, is a former professional cyclist who raced between 2012 and 2015 for the UCI Professional Continental team Colombia-Coldeportes and Team Colombia, and competed in the Vuelta a España in 2015. He is not a permanent resident of Italy, but was staying with friends in Montegranaro. It was reported that the friends were not aware of the drug trafficking.
Italian police located the house and identified Valencia as he was riding away on a bike. He was found with two bags containing 20g of cocaine. Upon searching the house, police found an additional 40g of cocaine along with a cutting substance used to dilute the drug, and €4,000, all in €50 and €20 bills.
Police said Valencia was transporting cocaine that was hidden in the tubing of his bike, and he was using the bike to transport the drug and make deliveries.