PARIS, Nov 26, 2014 (AFP) – Kazakhstan and it’s professional cycling team
Astana, whose star rider is Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali, were
rocked by yet another doping scandal on Wednesday with the news that a fifth
rider had failed a drug test.
Artur Fedosseyev, 20, from the Astana Continental, or reserve team, tested
positive for steroids on August 16 during the Tour of Ain, the International
Cycling Union (UCI) said Wednesday.
Fedosseyev thus became the third Astana Continental team member to fail a
test this year following Victor Okishev, at May’s Asian Championships, and
Ilya Davidenok, at August’s Tour de l’Avenir — the junior version of the Tour
de France — who both also failed tests for steroids.
That is on top of two more Kazakhs, brothers Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy,
of the professional Astana team, who were banned after testing positive for
the banned blood-booster EPO.
After the third of the five positive tests, the UCI asked its licence
commission to undertake a full review of the management and anti-doping
policies of the Astana team.
A decision has yet to be made whether or not to grant Astana a World Tour
licence for 2015.
Astana were excluded from the 2008 Tour de France after a series of doping
scandals at that time, denying then-Tour champion Alberto Contador the
opportunity to defend his title.
It was also the time when current team manager Alexandre Vinokourov was an
Astana rider and was himself serving a two-year ban for a blood transfusion.
Astana were interviewed by the UCI earlier this month with relation to
their internal drug-testing policies and subsequently announced a
collaboration with the Kazakh anti-doping agency to monitor their riders’