Vinokourov: 'I never doped'

Vinokourov told the French sports daily L'Equipe in Wednesday's edition that he had not cheated....

Vinokourov told the French sports daily L'Equipe in Wednesday's edition that he had not cheated. "It's a mistake. I never doped, that's not the way I see my profession," the newspaper quoted him as saying. "I think it's a mistake in part due to my crash. I have spoken to the team doctors who had a hypothesis that there was an enormous amount of blood in my thighs, which could have led to my positive test."

Vinokourov claimed to be the victim of a "provocation." "It's been going on for months and today they're managing to demolish me," he said. "The setting up of our team made a lot of people jealous and now we're paying the price. It's a shame to leave the Tour this way, but I don't want to waste time in proving my innocence."

Vinokourov did manage a joke about his situation. "I heard that I made a transfusion with my father's blood," Vinokourov said. "That's absurd, I can tell you that with his blood, I would have tested positive for vodka."

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