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Alexander Vinokourov (Astana)
Team Astana remains on the list of teams invited to participate in the Vuelta a España for 2007, but...
Team Astana remains on the list of teams invited to participate in the Vuelta a España for 2007, but Alexander Vinokourov will not be among the team's riders. The 2006 winner will not have the option to defend his title. "He will not be able in any manner to register for the 2007 Vuelta," said organizers in a statement according to the AFP.
"We have requested that each team respect its own code of conduct and do not register in the race any member of the team who is under investigation or procedure for a doping offense," read a team press release today.
Looking for a clean Vuelta after a month of doping scandals in the Tour de France, organizers also said, "Faithful to the mission that entrusts the organizing tradition and the history to us as a Grand Tour, we will take all moral and financial measures and work with Spanish and international authorities so that the race is conducted according to the highest standards of reliability. We will align with the major organizations of cycling who consider the credibility of our sport a high-priority objective."
According to organizers, allowing Astana to participate supports the team's efforts to clean itself up, but prohibiting Vinokourov supports the effort to clean up cycling.
Astana fired the 33 year-old Tour favorite after he tested positive for blood doping following his time trial victory July 21. A doping test from his later in the Tour also came back positive. Vino was suspended from the team, and his team withdrew from the Tour initially after initial reports of his positive A sample.
The Vuelta a España will take place September 1-23. Despite various doping scandals so far this summer, Vuelta organizers have decided to maintain the list of invited teams as was previously announced.