Astana looks to join MPCC

Astana is considering joining the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (Movement for Credible Cycling) as part of its anti-doping programme, team manager Giuseppe Martinelli has said. The MPCC is an organisation that has pushed for stricter anti-doping rules, and whose members agree to abide by ethical criteria that go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

The Kazakh team will makes its final decision about joining at its December training camp.

"I think it is an important thing to do, to try to change something or in any case to send an important signal," Martinelli told Eurosport. "Maybe we don’t talk about it so much, but we really do a lot (of anti-doping work). We have an internal system that monitors all cyclists day by day. We perform our internal controls."

"We are a team that has changed a lot in the last two years ago. We are seeing the results of that now. Until now, for that specific reason we have not had any more problems. But it’s too early to talk - as I said, we need to work more and talk less."

The Astana team has undergone several management changes over the last few years. After Alexander Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin tested positive for blood doping at the 2007 Tour de France, the team management was removed. Johan Bruyneel took over and remained for two years. Martinelli then became manager.

He insisted that the doping problems are all in the team's past, and that no one on the team is associated with Dr. Michele Ferrari, who has  been banned from the sport.

"All this is history. During these last few years I think everybody knows (Ferrari) is out of cycling," Martinelli claimed. "If some stupid person after that goes to Ferrari I think they really should not be racing anymore."

"Since I arrived, from 2010, I have never seen the Ferraris - I have not seen them with our team. I think the idiots - we have a lot of them in our sport - have understood the story now and they are very careful."

The Astana team's latest problem is a UCI investigation into claims that Vinokourov, now the team's general manager, bought his victory in the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Again Martinelli is optimistic about the outcome.

"He will explain everything that he has done and what he hasn’t done," said Martinelli. "He is an intelligent and serious guy, so he will know how to take responsibility. He was calm when I saw him five, six days ago in our training camp. If he is calm I think we can be as well."


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