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Tour winner Valentin Iglinskiy (Astana) takes a well deserved drink in Sanya after the completion of the tour.
Astana rider apologises for drunk driving and speeding incident
Valentin Iglinskiy was not under the influence of drugs when he was caught for speeding and drunk driving in France earlier this week. The Astana rider also said that he had not spent the evening with teammate Alexandre Vinokourov, as some media had reported, and that he would take legal action against those who claimed that he, and by inference, Vinokourov, had been using cocaine.
A blood test conducted by the National Gendarmerie “revealed a negative result for any form of drugs,” Astana said in a press release Friday afternoon.
The Kazakh rider appeared before the High Court in Nice Thursday, and answered questions under oath through an interpreter. He said that he had dined alone in Nice, and denied having told police that he had spent the evening with the team's future manager Vinokourov.
"I never said that, I don’t master the language enough to explain all this. I just made it clear to a policeman that Vinokourov was a friend whom I saw regularly. I never said that I was with him as several newspapers and websites wrote.”
When the story of the incident first appeared, it was reported that Iglinskiy had also consumed cocaine. “I am very angry to read all this, because it implies that I left my friend after having consumed alcohol and cocaine. All that is very damaging on a professional level and I risk losing my job because of this rumour.”
Iglinskiy said that he would take legal action agains those who perpetuate the allegation. “I intend to bring this matter to court for defamation on my friend Vinokourov and me. This misinformation has circulated in the media and has had devastating effects.
“I am a professional cyclist of the Astana team, and now it says that Vinokourov and me, we have a life of depravity. I want to say that we are healthy people. Now, our friends and our families suspect us not to be serious and have a life of debauchery.”
In its press release, the team indicated that he would sue the police. “The false accusations by the state of testing positive for any drugs, regarding Valentin Iglinskiy will be brought to justice so that the perpetrators can be held accountable.”
In addition, Iglinskiy, 27 years old, publicly apologized for the incident, which he “deeply regrets.”