A press release from the International Cycling Union (UCI) was released in a nutshell on Monday mid-afternoon. It informs that Franck Bonnamour (age 28) has been suspended due to “unexplained anomalies” on his biological passport. No additional details, especially about the duration of the Breton runner's suspension. The UCI simply specifies that the biological passport is “an individual electronic file specific to each rider, which records the results of all anti-doping controls carried out within the PBA program during a certain period”.
This provisional suspension for suspected doping is the latest setback in the career of the Lannion runner who, after a 2023 season blighted by repeated injuries, finally looked to be moving forward. Until this Monday, that is.
Superfighter of the Tour de France 2021
Since turning professional within the Fortuneo-Vital Concept (now Arkéa-B&B Hotels) team in 2016, the career of the former European Junior Champion (2013) has never really been linear. In the team led by Emmanuel Hubert, Franck Bonnamour, often injured, never managed to show his potential. His move to the house across the street, the team of B&B Hotel 2021, gave it a new color.
During his first Tour de France, the same year, the young Breton even clearly changed the dimension with four finishes in the Top 10 stages, 22nd place in the general classification and the Super Combatif award on the Champs-Élysées (in front of the Belgian Wout vana Aert). The following year, despite new health problems, Franck Bonnamour even won his first victory in the professional ranks, the Polynormande in Saint-Martin-de-Landelles.
Jérôme Pineau Pineau doesn't understand
After the collapse of Jérôme Pineau's team, the Breton found a contract without problems and found refuge with AG2R Citroën (now Décathlon AG2R La Mondiale), in the WorldTour. In a press releaseThe Savoyard team, which had to deal with the case of Alex Baudin (disqualified from the Giro for taking tramadol) before reinstatement, specified that the decision regarding Bonnamour was based on its “checks carried out before his arrival at the team on January 1 , 2023.
In other words, it would refer to the period of B&B hotels. “So we suspend the driver more than a year later… And then the anomaly, what does that mean first of all? Honestly, I have more confidence in Franck Bonnamour than in the authorities,” confides Jérôme Pineau, former general manager of the Breton team. “It has neither tail nor head. At B&B Hotels, we conducted internal checks and there was never even a shadow of a problem with Francka, nor with the others. In people's minds he is already condemned, it's disgusting to me…”
Contacted, Franck Bonnamour said in a message to Télégramme that “he cannot say anything at this moment”.