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Vinokourov no longer Olympic bid ambassador for Almaty 2022

Astana boss dropped after IOC raises concerns over Olympic champ's past...

Alexander Vinokourov, general manager of the Astana team that won the Tour de France through Vincenzo Nibali last year but which subsequently became embroiled in a doping scandal, has stepped down as ambassador to Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

As perhaps Kazakhstan’s highest profile athlete, Vinokourov, who won the road race at London 2012, was a natural candidate to spearhead his country’s bid to host an Olympic Games for the first time.

But his involvement in promoting Almaty’s bid troubled International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials due to his doping past – he was banned for two years after testing positive for an illegal blood transfusion during the 2007 Tour de France.

According the Guardian, an official connected with Almaty’s bid said: “Alexander Vinokourov resigned as bid ambassador, he was only part of the application phase.”

But last week, the bid organisers had defended his representation of the project, with vice-chairman Andrey Kryukov insisting there was no evidence Vinokourov is currently involved in doping.

The Kazakh city has only one rival to host the 2022 Winter Olympics – the Chinese capital, Beijing, which staged the 2008 Summer Games, and which is aiming to become the first city to host both.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Airzound | 9 years ago

Nearly as disliked as much as LA and that's saying summat!

Simmo72 | 9 years ago

Don't worry, Kazakhstan can carry on and use one of their weightlifters as their 2022 bid ambassador......ooops, no they can't, they have all been done for doping as well.

Strength in depth.

mtm_01 | 9 years ago

Quite possibly the least popular Olympic gold medal winner.

SamShaw | 9 years ago

Agree with step-hent.

Somewhat hypocritical for the IOC to be troubled by Vino given the fact that he won the last Olympic medal on the road.

step-hent | 9 years ago

Got to say, I do find it odd that it's ok for a guy to compete in Olympic events but he's not suitable to sit on the Committee of the host. I know and understand the reasons for that, but it strikes me that we should be applying similar standards to competition as we do to the politics surrounding it.

portec | 9 years ago

Good to see sanity prevailing here. The fact that he's an ex-doper is bad enough, but that he's an unrepentant ex-doper makes him so unsuitable to be an ambassador for sport.

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