An association aiming to promote clean cycling said it was “concerned” after 29 cases of doping were recorded in the sport last year.
The voluntary Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) is an organisation comprising teams and cyclists that operate stricter rules against doping than authorities.
Last year’s cases - spread across 15 different countries - marks the second-worst score in eight years, except 2019.
Twelve of the cases concerned semi-professional men riders from continental road teams, the MPCC said in a statement on Wednesday.
But the MPCC said if the count is limited to only professional men, 2022 “is actually the lowest number (two cases) ever recorded since the Festina affair”, referring to the doping scandal that hit the sport in the late 1990s.
Only two cases in 2022 were among professional male competitors, the group said. One of those cases involved former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta an Espania winner in Colombian rider Nairo Quintana.
Quintana tested positive during the 2022 Tour de France for the painkiller Tramadol, which whilst not on the WADA list of doping substances, has been banned by cycling authorities on medical grounds.
Tour organisers stripped him of his sixth-placed finish.
Thirty pro teams and 21 continental teams are affiliated with the MPCC, which describes itself as “defending clean cycling”.