The UCI has announced the provisional suspension of Dutch climber Antwan Tolhoek following a positive test for anabolic androgenic steroids in an out-of-competition test last November.
29-year-old Tolhoek, who in the last two years raced for Lidl-Trek before moving to Continental level with Portuguese team Sabgal-Anicolor for 2024, tested positive in a sample collected on November 27 last year.
He made his season debut on February 4, taking 19th at the Portuguese national-level race, Prova de Abertura-Região de Aveiro. However, he now faces a long suspension from racing, depending on the outcome of any B sample test and any subsequent appeals.
“The UCI informs that Dutch rider Antwan Tolhoek has been notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding for Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in a sample collected during an out-of-competition control on 27 November 2023,” the UCI announced.
“The doping control was initiated and conducted by the International Testing Agency (ITA) on behalf of the UCI.
“In accordance with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended. He has the right to request the analysis of the B sample. The UCI will not comment any further while the proceedings are ongoing.”
Former speed skater Tolhoek, who was set to represent his new team at the upcoming Volta ao Algarve, turned pro with the now-defunct Roompost team in 2016 after only taking up cycling two years earlier. He then raced for five years with Jumbo-Visma.
In 2017 he was suspended for two months by the Dutch team after he – along with Pascal Eenkhoorn and Juan José Lobato – was found to have taken sleeping medication outside of the team’s supervision while at a training camp.
Tolhoek has scored one victory during his racing career, taking a summit finish win ahead of Egan Bernal on stage 6 of the 2019 Tour de Suisse.
Other major results on his palmarès include 11th at the 2018 Critérium du Dauphiné, 10th at the Clásica San Sebastián the same year, second at the Japan Cup, also in 2018, fourth at the 2019 Tour of Guangxi, and second at the 2021 Vuelta a Andalucía.
Tolhoek’s positive test is the latest in a flurry of doping news in the past week. French rider Franck Bonnamour (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale) was suspended over biological passport abnormalities on Monday, while Spanish public prosecutors have called for the Operation Ilex anti-doping probe – which has seen Miguel Angel López suspended from racing – to be shelved.
Elsewhere, on Tuesday, the news broke that Fredy Alexander Gonzales Torres, who worked as a doctor for Nairo Quintana and Arkéa-Samsic at the 2020 Tour de France, will go on trial for “possessing a substance or method that is prohibited for a sporting use without medical justification” in September.