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Kashechkin return to Astana in Vuelta pending

Andrey Kashechkin (Lampre-ISD)

Andrey Kashechkin (Lampre-ISD) (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

Andrey Kashechkin's return to the Astana team is still pending approval of the transfer from Lampre-ISD by the UCI, Cyclingnews learned from a source inside the team.

The rider from Kazakhstan has been named as riding the Vuelta a Espana for the squad, but as of today he has yet to officially become a part of the Astana team.

"Kashechkin hasn't signed yet but it might be [final] within two days," a source familiar with the situation said.

"Kashechkin will ride the Vuelta only of the UCI confirms his transfer on time. The previous leader for the race was Frederik Kessiakoff."

Should Kashechkin be allowed to start, he would share leadership in the race with Kessiakoff.

Kashechkin made his comeback from a two-year suspension for a 2007 blood doping case with the Lampre team in 2010. He last rode with Astana in 2006 and 2007, and in that time won stages of Paris-Nice, the Vuelta a Espana and led the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré for two days and took third overall.

In 2007, Kashechkin was targeted by the UCI for an out-of-competition control which came up positive for an illegal blood transfusion. The test followed news that his then-teammate Alexander Vinokourov had also been declared positive for blood doping in the 2007 Tour de France.

Kashechkin vigorously defended himself against the allegations, even going so far as claiming his human rights had been violated - a case which was dismissed by a Belgian court.

The Kazakhstan federation refused to suspend the rider, but the UCI was able to keep him out of competition for two years. Kashechkin appealed the sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but lost.

He returned with the Kazakhstan national team at the 2009 world championships before being signed with Lampre, because the Astana team was concerned his presence on the squad would jeopardize its ProTour license.


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