No Circuit Franco-Belge for Astana

The race director of October's Circuit Franco-Belge announced Saturday that he did not want the...

The race director of October's Circuit Franco-Belge announced Saturday that he did not want the Astana team at his race. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke told Le Soir that the doping cases of Alexander Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin for blood doping as well as the testosterone positive of Matthias Kessler were so detrimental to the sport that he does not want the team at the race. "We lost a sponsor who left after the Tour in disgust. Why should we then start at team which harmed the image of cycling so much during these last months?"

Vandenbroucke continued, "I think that it is our duty to strike a blow. It is the only weapon offered to the organisers to fight doping," explained Vandenbroucke.

Astana was asked to leave the Tour after the initial positive result of Vinokourov, and was further scandalised by the subsequent positive of Kashechkin in an out of competition control after the Tour. Both riders denied ever having doped, but were sacked by the team.

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