Team Astana’s Continental Team (lower division cycling team) has been suspended by Alexander Vinokourov after another Astana rider was found guilty of doping. UCI confirmed on the 26th of November, 2014 that Artur Fedosseyev is guilty of utilizing banned steroids.
Previously, four other Astana riders have been tested for doping and all of those test results have been positive. Two of those riders namely Victor Okishev and Ilya Davidenok are a part of Astana Continental Team along with Artur Fedosseyev. On the other hand, the other two riders- Valentin and Maxim Iglinskiy are the ones associated with the Astana WorldTour Team.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport (An Italian newspaper), Alexander Vinokourov is certainly not Astana Continental Team’s manager but he has utilized his power to provisionally suspend the team. Kazakh Cycling Federating actively supported Vinokourov and officially suspended all the activities of the team.
Vinokourov was himself surrounded by doping controversies in the past. However, right now he seems quite eager to keep himself and his Astana WorldTour Team away from doping activities going on in the Continental Team.
He said to Gazzetta dello Sport that the Continental Team and WorldTour Team are separate. These two teams have nothing in common except the name and the jersey.
Alexander Vinokourov also added that the suspension is a signal for the Kazakh Federation to become more severe and strict. Astana team is going to support the federation in the best possible manner.
Vinokourov is of the opinion that the young cyclists are crazy. They are failing to understand that doping is never going to be acceptable in the world of professional cycling.
Astana is one UCI professional cycling team that has been surrounded by several doping scandals ever since the team was launched. The latest violations related to doping have made it really difficult for Astana to survive.