Astana sack cyclist Vinokourov
Kazakh rider fired after testing positive at this year's Tour de France.
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2007 04:46 GMT
Vinokourov was a stage winner during
this year's Tour de France [AFP]
Alexandre Vinokourov has been sacked by his Astana team after he tested positive at the Tour de France.
The Kazakh was forced out of the Tour when he tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning the 13th stage. His team was also disqualified at that time.

He was only officially fired after the backup 'B' sample confirmed the initial positive finding.


Vinokourov now faces a two-year ban from cycling and the loss of a year's salary under the anti-doping charter of the International Cycling Union, which came into effect before this year’s race.

Innocence protested
The rider has maintained his innocence, arguing that test results "simply make no sense."
"Given all the attention paid to doping offences, you would have to be crazy to do what I have been accused of, and I am not crazy," Vinokourov said.
The Vinokourov saga was just one of a series of doping scandals to rock this year's Tour.
Tour leader Michael Rasmussen, who looked set to win the race, was expelled by his Rabobank team for lying about his whereabouts after missing two doping tests.

Meanwhile, Italian rider Cristian Moreni tested positive for testosterone, prompting the withdrawal of his entire Cofidis team.

T-Mobile rider Patrik Sinkewitz also failed a pre-Tour test for testosterone that was only discovered after the start of the race.
Vinokourov used a blood transfusion from a compatible blood donor, rather than his own blood, which made it easier to see anomalies during the blood test.
Blood transfusions work by increasing an athlete's count of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the muscles.
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list