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Astana hit by another doping case
19 Nov 2014 14:02
Astana were rocked by another doping case today when the International Cycling Union said Kazakh Victor Okishev had tested positive for steroids.
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"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that it has notified UCI Continental Team Astana Kazakh rider Victor Okishev of an Adverse Analytical Finding of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in a sample collected at the Asian Cycling Championships on 29 May 2014," the UCI said in a statement.
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"The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample."
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Okishev rides for Astana Continental (third division), which is technically a different entity to the Astana World Tour (elite) team.
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Sources said, however, that Okishev's case would be taken into consideration, although not officially, by the Licence Commission, who has been reviewing Astana's case in the wake of a string of recent doping affairs.
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Last month, the UCI officially asked the Licence Commission to review Astana's status after the Kazakh outfit was hit by a third positive doping test this year.
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Kazakh brothers Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy, as well as trainee Iliya Davidenok, also of Kazakhstan, failed dope tests this season.
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Astana officials were heard by the Licence Commission on November 6, a cycling source told Reuters, and the UCI has yet to receive their recommendations.
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Earlier the UCI said Astana, who are managed by ex-doper Alexandre Vinokourov and have Italian Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali in their ranks, could have "conditions attached to their licence".
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Astana are members of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible (Movement for Credible Cycling or MPCC), which enforces stricter anti-doping rules than the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
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In accordance with those rules, Astana suspended themselves for the season-ending Tour of Beijing last month because they have had two doping cases in the team in the past 12 months.
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