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Kazakhstan Federation suspends Astana Continental team

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Volkswagens for the Astana team

Volkswagens for the Astana team (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Astana team car

The Astana team car (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lunch awaits the Astana riders

Lunch awaits the Astana riders (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Kazakhstan Cycling Federation has suspended the Astana Continental Team and will investigate the recent spate of doping cases which has hit the team. General manager Dmitri Sedoun has been released by the team.

In a statement published Friday on the Astana Continental website, Federation president Kairat Kelimbetov said “the Federation and management of ‘Astana ProTeam’ are interested in carrying out a thorough investigation of the doping cases of the Continental team. Our strategic policy is for clean Kazakhstan cycling. I can assure you that investigation will be organized in full accordance with the UCI rules and its outcome to be announced in due course.”

The Kazakhstan Cycling Federation reiterated that it has already adopted an anti-doping program that includes dducational programs, doping tests of in all categories and biological passports to be executed in co-operation with its National Anti-doping Agency through its program.

There was no indication as to whether Sedoun was also released from his position as a directeur sportif with the Astana WorldTour team. He was spotted at the Montecatini Terme get together on Thursday but Vincenzo Nibali told Cyclingnews that he had been removed.

Astana Continental has had three doping cases over the last few months, with Ilya Davidenok, Viktor Okishev and Artur Fedosseyev all testing positive for anabolic steroids in races during the summer. Brothers Maxim and Valentin Iglinsky of the WorldTour Astana team also had tested positive for EPO.

Because it is a member of the MPCC, the Astana WorldTour team was forced to miss the end of season Tour of Beijing race. The team has also been questioned about its anti-doping policies by the UCI Licence Commission during its request for WorldTour registration for 2015 but is expected to be one of the 18 WorldTour teams confirmed by the UCI on December 8.