World

Popular Colombia soccer team sanctioned by US government for alleged ties to drug cartel

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2014, file photo, Colombia's captain James Rodriguez celebrates after his teammate Carlos Bacca, scored against USA, during an international friendly soccer match at the Craven Cottage ground in London. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Rodriguez's first professional team, the Envigado soccer club, for alleged ties to a drug cartel. The Treasury Department on Wednesday Nov. 19, 2014, placed the club and its owner, Juan Pablo Upequi, on its foreign narcotics kingpins list, freezing any U.S. assets they may have and barring Americans from doing business with them. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2014, file photo, Colombia's captain James Rodriguez celebrates after his teammate Carlos Bacca, scored against USA, during an international friendly soccer match at the Craven Cottage ground in London. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Rodriguez's first professional team, the Envigado soccer club, for alleged ties to a drug cartel. The Treasury Department on Wednesday Nov. 19, 2014, placed the club and its owner, Juan Pablo Upequi, on its foreign narcotics kingpins list, freezing any U.S. assets they may have and barring Americans from doing business with them. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)  (The Associated Press)

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on a popular Colombian soccer team for alleged ties to a drug cartel.

The Treasury Department on Wednesday placed Envigado soccer club and its owner, Juan Pablo Upequi, on its foreign narcotics kingpins list, freezing any U.S. assets they may have and barring Americans from doing business with them.

Upequi is accused of using the club as a front to launder money on behalf of the Office of Envigado, a violent cocaine-trafficking organization that inherited the underworld connections of Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel.

It's the second Colombian team to land on the blacklist. The other team, America de Cali, was removed from the list in 2013.

The Envigado club says its finances are open for inspection and have been fully audited by Colombian authorities.