Six months after finishing in 3rd place at the 2018 GFNY Cozumel gran fondo, having an incredible year of results and getting a World Tour pro contract, Mexican rider Luis Villalobos tested positive for GHRP-6, a growth hormone prohibited by the World Anti Doping Agency. This week cycling’s UCI governing body imposed a 4 year competitive ban on the 23 year-old Villalobos for violating anti-doping rules.
“The Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (presence of GHRP-6) and of ineligibility on the rider,” the UCI said in a statement.
HGRP-6 helps endurance athletes like cyclists build lean muscle mass in a short amount of time while loosing body fat. It reportedly can also lower blood pressure, boost libido, improve sleep, and boost mental well-being.
Villalobos, before being provisionally suspended by Jonathan Vaughter’s EF Pro Cycling team, served as a GFNY/EF Pro training ambassador for GFNY Cozumel with former Tour de France star Raul Alcala.
“If we’d have known, we would not have signed Luis. The burden of this is on the UCI because there is no internal testing program that has access to the level of equipment needed to screen for GHRP-6,” Vaughters insisted in a statement.
Although GFNY tests a few top riders for banned substances, they have not commented on whether Villalobos was tested for banned substances at their race in November 2018 – or as a representative of GFNY.
The UCI has yet to release detailed reasoning for the 4 year ban, but it is expected to commence on the date of testing, 25 April 2019, and end 25 April 2023 – or in just 14 months, giving Villalobos an opportunity to race again, as an ex-pro doper on the amateur gran fondo circuit.
PHOTOS: GFNY, EF Pro Cycling