As we reported in November, Mexican amateur gran fondo rider Elias Montenez was banned-for-life by the GFNY series after violating anti doping rules and refusing to submit a biological sample at GFNY Florida before fleeing across the border to Mexico. While the lifetime ban from GFNY events is probably not a big deal for Montenez, the four year competitive ban issued by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) on Wednesday is a big deal. It prevents him from competing in sporting events worldwide that are governed by World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

Montanez, 32, failed to submit to an in-competition biological sample after being notified by a USADA doping control officer at the amateur GFNY Florida race on 23 October 2022. Evading sample collection or refusing or failing to submit to sample collection without compelling justification is a violation of anti doping rules under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy, and the International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Montanez’s four year ban will expire 30 November 2026 and he has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to 23 October 2022, including a third place finish at the Sadasi Cycling Race in Merida, Mexico on 30 October.

Riders found guilty of evading collection of biological samples when requested by an anti doping official automatically receive a four year ban from the sport, just as if they tested positive for a banned performance enhancing substance like EPO or Testosterone.

Montanez is not the first amateur GFNY rider to be disqualified or banned for cheating. The series has a long history of top participants, ex-pros and champions who have been caught violating rules, including Luis Villalobos, Rudy RinconOscar TovarFelipe Mendez & Gabriel RaffArmando Sevieri, Simon Boilard and Adrian Alvarado

Photos: USADA