Eric D. Schabell: Vinokourov fails Tour doping test, leaves Tour 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vinokourov fails Tour doping test, leaves Tour 2007

This breaks my heart to see, but my favorite cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov has popped on his blood testing... I am pretty much blown away to hear this after watching him fall hard in the fifth stage of the Tour. He then hung in there, cycling with 30 stitches in his knees and elbow until he was fit enough to win the time trial last Saturday and a very tough stage in the Pyrenees Monday.

It seems he might have used blood transfusions to recover from the earlier stages and tested positive for blood doping after winning Saturday's time-trial stage. He asked for second sample to be tested but the damage has been done, as stated on the BBC SPORT website.

The Astana team was leading the team classification and had two other riders in the top ten of the individual classification. The Astana team released a statement stating:

"The anti-doping control on Alexandre Vinokourov, which was carried out on July 21 after the time trial in Albi, has tested positive.

"According to the ethical code of the Astana Cycling Team Alexandre Vinokourov has been suspended from the team with immediate effect. The rider has asked nevertheless for a B-sample analysis.

"Informed by the Astana management, the organisers of the Tour de France invited the team to withdraw, which was immediately accepted."

Alexandre Vinokourov faces a two year ban if the second sample tests positive. The yellow jersey and the leader in the youth classification both being shrouded in doping allegations, this years Tour de France has left me in despair...