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UAE Team Colombia shut operations after doping positive

UAE Team Colombia
(Image credit: UAE Team Colombia on Facebook)

Colombian amateur squad UAE Team Colombia have ceased operations with immediate effect following the adverse analytical finding of one of their riders, Esteban Toro.

The 20-year-old returned a positive result in an out-of-competition test before the start of the 2021 season and before he joined the team, though the substance found has yet to be announced. 

"UAE Team Colombia regrets to inform the public and the media that, after receiving the notification of the adverse analytical result of the rider Esteban Toro from the national and international authorities, the team has taken the decision to suspend the employment of the athlete and put an end to all sporting activity of the team in Colombia," read a statement issued by the team on social media.

Despite the similar name, UAE Team Colombia is not affiliated with the WorldTour squad UAE Team Emirates in any way. 

"The events of which the rider is accused took place out of competition and before the start of the 2021 calendar, when he was not yet under the tutelage of the team," read the UAE Team Colombia statement. 

"These same facts are still under investigation and both the team and the rider are awaiting the B-sample - to which the athlete is entitled - and the internal investigations to confirm or rule out his adverse analysis.

"We trust that the rider will be able to clarify his situation, face due process and exercise his right to defence within the terms established by the UCI for cases such as his.

"Due to the seriousness of these facts, UAE Team Colombia has decided to put an end to its sporting and administrative activity in Colombia, under its philosophy of ZERO TOLERANCE to doping under the standards of the Colombian Cycling Federation and the Colombian Ministry of Sports."

The team were founded with the aim of promoting young Colombian riders and had ambitions to reach ProTeam level. U23 Colombian road champion Daniel Arroyave was the first to make the step up from the team to the WorldTour this year as he moved to EF Education-Nippo.

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Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.