Valentin Iglinskiy sacked by Astana after positive test

Valentin Iglinskiy has been sacked by the Astana team after returning a positive test for EPO during the Eneco Tour last month. News of Iglinskiy’s positive test emerged on Wednesday evening when the UCI updated its list of riders provisionally suspended under anti-doping rules.

In a statement released shortly afterwards, the Astana team said that Iglinskiy has confessed to doping and has been sacked by with immediate effect. The Kazakh squad insisted that Iglinskiy had doped without the knowledge of the team.

"Following the announcement by the Union Cycliste Internationale of a positive antidoping test result for Valentin Iglinskiy during the recent Eneco Tour, management at Astana Pro Team have taken direct and immediate action to release the rider from his contract," the statement on Astana’s website read.

"Valentin has admitted to using prohibited substances on his own initiative and independently, without any consultation from the Astana Pro Team staff.

"In its wish for full transparency, Astana Pro Team has refused to defend a rider who failed to respect the rules and ethics as stipulated in his contract and who has failed to behave in a manner consistent with other riders in his team and within professional cycling."

A professional since 2009, Iglinskiy is the younger brother of Astana’s Maxim Iglinskiy, who won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2012.

After beginning his career with Astana, Valentin Iglinskiy left the team for Ag2r-La Mondiale in 2013 only to return to the fold at the beginning of this year. The biggest success of the 30-year-old’s career came in 2011, when he won a stage of the Tour of Turkey.

The Astana team's history has been marked by a series of doping cases. Current general manager Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping while a rider on the squad at the 2007 Tour de France, for instance, while Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour title following a positive test for clenbuterol. Astana joined the Movement for Credible Cycling in 2013 in a bid to restore its image.

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