Vino: UCI warned Astana not to hire Kash
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vino: UCI warned Astana not to hire Kash

by Ben Atkins at 6:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

In an interview with Kazakh newspaper ProSport Alexandre Vinokourov has claimed that International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid advised the Astana team against hiring Andrey Kashechkin.

“He said we already have one rider who has suffered a suspension, me,” Vinokourov said, “and that with the possible arrival of Kashechkin the team may have some problems.”

Kashechkin tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion in an out of competition test while on holiday in Turkey after the 2007 Tour de France. His positive control followed soon after that of Vinokourov himself and was the main contributory factor behind the team’s exclusion from that year’s Vuelta a España and many of the major races of 2008, including the Tour de France.

The implication is that the same race organisers that refused to invite the Astana team in 2007 may not want to invite the team now that the two most high-profile positive riders have returned. Vinokourov said that he had advised his friend Kashechkin to sign for a smaller, lower profile team.

Other negative news concerning the Astana team is that, while September’s salaries have now been paid, October’s money is still outstanding. Financial issues such as the non-payment of riders’ salaries earlier in the year almost caused the team to collapse.

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