Astana has moved quickly to sack its rider Valentin Iglinskiy after the 30-year-old confessed to doping following notification by the UCI that he had tested positive for EPO from a sample taken during last month’s Eneco Tour.
In a statement issued shortly after the UCI announced the positive test, the team’s management said it had taken “direct and immediate action to release the rider from his contract” after Iglinskiy “admitted to using prohibited substances on his own initiative and independently, without any consultation from the Astana Pro Team staff.”
The Kazakh team’s statement added: “In its wish for full transparency, Astana Pro Team has refused to defend a rider who failed to respect the rules and ethics as stipulated in his contract and who has failed to behave in a manner consistent with other riders in his team and within professional cycling.
It concluded: “With the immediate expulsion of Valentin Iglinskiy, the management and staff at Astana Pro Team confirm our commitment to clean cycling without doping.”
The sacked rider is the younger brother of his team mate, Maxim Iglinskiy, winner of Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2012 and who this July (unlike Valentin) rode in support of Vincenzo Nibali as the Italian won the Tour de France. The UCI said earlier this month that none of the samples taken on that race had tested positive.
Astana is a member of the Movement For Credible Cycling, formed in July 2007 ny several teams after doping scandals again engulfed the Tour de France.
The biggest of those involved the Kazakh outfit’s Alexandre Vinokourov, who would serve a ban and return to ride for it, and is now the team’s manager.
Thrown off the 2007 Tour, Astana wasn’t a founding member of MPCC, instead joining it ahead of the 2015 season.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.