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Cycling News Flash, December 21, 2008

Date published:
December 22, 2008, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI formally requests doubling of Vinokourov ban

    Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov
    Article published:
    December 22, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes This weekend, the UCI filed its appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)...

    By Shane Stokes

    This weekend, the UCI filed its appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in relation to the length of the ban previously handed down to Alexander Vinokourov. The Astana rider tested positive for a blood transfusion during the 2007 Tour de France but was only given a one-year suspension by the national federation of Kazakhstan.

    The UCI is seeking to have the ban extended to two years, the norm for serious doping offences. "As far as the UCI is concerned, he wasn't given the right sanction in the first place," its president Pat McQuaid told Cyclingnews on Sunday. "The UCI needs to ensure that he gets what we feel is the right sanction. To do that, we needed to go to CAS, especially as there is speculation that he may try to come back in April."

    McQuaid previously indicated several weeks ago that the UCI would take this course of action, following the news that the 35-year-old was planning on returning to cycling in time for the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    At the time, the Kazakh minister for sport, Anatoliy Kulnazarov, stated that he would do so with the Astana team.

    "There is no way he will be allowed back," McQuaid said on November 13. "The UCI does not accept the one-year sanction, it should have been two years.

    "We have regulations in relation to when people can come back from an anti-doping sanction. Vinokourov will have to follow the regulations as they are. That would certainly preclude him from riding the Classics next year."

    McQuaid stated on Sunday that the process of lodging the appeal for a longer ban took time to prepare, but that CAS would now be able to proceed with the case.

    Vinokourov has long had close ties with the Kazakh cycling federation....