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Team will race in Italy and Kazakhstan tomorrow, says La Gazzetta dello Sport, but will withdraw from Tour of Beijing

Astana rider Maxim Iglinskiy, revealed this week as having positive for EPO on 1 August, will confess early next week to having used the drug without his team’s knowledge, says Italian sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport. The team is expected to withdraw from the season’s final WorldTour race, the Tour of Beijing – but will ride Il Lombardia tomorrow, as well as the Tour of Almaty in its home country, Kazakhstan.

As a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) in common with ten other top-tier teams, Astana is obliged to voluntarily suspend itself from racing if, in the space of 12 months, two riders test positive for a banned substance.

The suspension, which lasts eight days, is required to take effect from the next WorldTour race following the date the team became aware of the positive test; for the purposes of the MPCC’s rules, the result must be confirmed by the analysis of the B sample or a confession from the rider.

News that Iginskiy had tested positive broke on Wednesday, just three weeks after his team mate and brother, Valentin, had admitted using EPO in a test taken at the Eneco Tour in August. He was sacked by the team.

As we reported on Thursday, discussions were taking place behind the scenes regarding Astana’s participation in tomorrow’s Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the season. It now looks as though the Kazakh outfit will participate, with its hopes resting on Fabio Aru.

Clearly were Iglinskiy, winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, to have confessed to doping prior to Il Lombardia, the team, whose general manager is Alexandre Vinokourov, would have had to voluntarily pull out of that race.

More embarrassingly, it would also have had to withdraw from tomorrow’s Tour of Almaty, the biggest race in its home country, won by Iglinskiy last season and where Vincenzo Nibali, whom he helped win this year’s Tour de France, is to end his season.

Should the Gazzetta dello Sport’s prediction be correct and a confession does come from the rider early next week, the team’s blushes will have been spared in that regard, but it would be open to accusations of having ignored the spirit of the MPCC’s rules to suit its own purposes.

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.

5 comments

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patto583 [55 posts] 3 years ago
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So the MPCC gets less credible by the minute.

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Gkam84 [9111 posts] 3 years ago
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The MPCC cannot even enforce it's own rules because it is a voluntary code you sign up to.

So teams will bend that to suit themselves.

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portec [118 posts] 3 years ago
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patto583 wrote:

So the MPCC gets less credible by the minute.

You're being a little premature there:

for the purposes of the MPCC’s rules, the result must be confirmed by the analysis of the B sample or a confession from the rider

Unless there's something I'm not aware of neither of those things have happened yet. We have a rumour that the latter might happen but that's all. Of course, for obvious reasons Iglinskiy will not confess until after Lombardy, and perhaps that's a hint to the MPCC that they should revise their rules but it does not discredit them.

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patto583 [55 posts] 3 years ago
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Their credibility suffers, as the fact that teams who are members are able to bend the rules to their liking. This may be resolved in future by a tightening of those rules, but the current case has made the MPCC less credible than it was.

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Him Up North [235 posts] 3 years ago
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An Astana rider (Lutsenko) won the Tour of Almaty earlier. Aru for the Lombardia...?  39