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"They saw that something was happening and ti was not right. And they have spoken with the Kazakh Federation, insisting that there needs to be more thorough controls of the young riders. They want to clean up Kazakh cycling."

Photo: Sirotti






01.12.2014 @ 12:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alexandre Vinokourov has been very clear: doping at the Continental Team Astana has nothing to do with the Astana WorldTour team. Last week Luis Leon Sanchez had his first contact with the team in Italy and he returned to Spain with a clear message.


Vinokourov reiterated his message at the first gathering in Montecatini Terme, Sanchez reveals in an interview with Biciciclismo. "He has repeated that our team has nothing to do with the other. They are different although they have similar names. They cannot be allowed to do so much damage to a WorldTour team with the Tour de France winner," he said.



To demonstrate the commitment to anti-doping, the Kazakh Cycling Federation had taken major decisions by suspending the activity of the continental team after three doping positives and taking more stringent measures in the fights against doping. However, the WorldTour license is at stake. 


"They have indefinitely suspended the team," Sanchez said. "They saw that something was happening and ti was not right. And they have spoken with the Kazakh Federation, insisting that there needs to be more thorough controls of the young riders. They want to clean up Kazakh cycling."



Vinokourov also made it clear to his staff that "the Iglinskiy cases have nothing to do with the team. It is unthinkable to do such things within the team."


The Spaniard was also able to offer his personal views after joining the Kazakh team. "I have just joined the team and can not say anything because I didn't ride with them last season. In all the meeting we have had with the directors, the first thing that was made clear by the doctors, was that they want to bring everything under control," he explained.


In that sense, he is confident that they can keep the license and compete on a normal basis next year."Hopefully nothing happens and we will be able to continue. Vinokourov is optimistic after talking to the UCI. He and the team have offered everything that is in their hands and have been as clear as they could possibly be.They have nothing to hide and hope for the best decision for the team and the riders," he explained.


Luis Leon returns to the WorldTour with a team that is led byVincenzo Nibali and has a very high level of quality."There is a very good atmosphere. It was said that the team was divided between Italians and Kazakhs but that is not the case. This is a very united group, especially now in these difficult times. They are eager to start the year and forget everything that is happening around the team because we share the name of the continental team."


Caja Rural offered Sanchez the chance to stay in the peloton in 2014 and this is something he will never forget. "I want to thank the Caja Rural team because without them this would not have been possible. Now I am happy and look forward to returning."


On Thursday, Astana will meet again in Calpe where they will stay until December 17. Sanchez will now more about his schedule after that training camp.



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