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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.