Only six days ago the Vuelta a España assured Team Astana that it would be welcome, despite the positive doping tests of Alexander Vinokourov and Matthias Kessler. Allowing the team to participate would support Astana's efforts to achieve a doping-free team, the race organizers said. But yesterday's news of yet another positive may be too much for the Spaniards.
It was announced Wednesday that Andrej Kashechkin had tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion in an unannounced test on August 1.
"This affects Astana's participation in the Vuelta," race director Victor Cordero said on Efe Radio. "We have spoken with the team leaders and they have told us they will take measures. We decided to analyse matters and make a decision on Monday, which at the moment would not appear to be in favour of the presence of this team in the race. We will wait for the data."
Lamb said that the many recent positive tests have hurt the sport. "These cases affect its credibility with the millions of fans who follow the sport. We must fight to guarantee that credibility, and therefore we have announced our antidoping plan."