Maxim Iglinskiy of Team Astana has tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), according to a recently-released document by the UCI.
The 33-year-old Iglinskiy provided a sample on August 1 that revealed an adverse analytical finding for EPO, the blood-boosting substance. The rider finished 26th at the Clasica San Sebastian the day after the sample was taken. Iglinskiy is best known for winning the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2012 ahead of Vincenzo Nibali. The suspension of Iglinskiy is likely to pose doubts over Tour de France victory of Nibali.
In a statement, Astana Manager Alexandre Vinokourov said we will not tolerate any indulgences. Vinokourov, a convicted drug cheat, himself said he is very disappointed and angered that this rider could not have understood the basis of our rules and the importance of our ethics and added that it is especially unacceptable on the part of a Kazakh rider who stands for the image of our team and the image of our country. Astana’s general manager, Alexandre Vinokourov, said all Astana Pro Team riders are contractually obliged to respect strict ethical rules and regulations.
In another development, the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) announced that the Astana Team will not be automatically suspended after the B sample of Iglinskiy returned a positive result. This means that Team Astana can still participate in Sunday’s Giro di Lombardia. In a statement, the MPCC said the auto-suspension approach does, however, apply only after the result of the counter-analysis, if the rider requests it and added that MPCC has specifically asked the Astana team to hear its rider Maxim Iglinskiy, in order to know if he makes a confession or requests counter-analysis. Under MPCC rules, which are voluntarily followed by participating teams, a team agrees to temporarily suspend operations in the event that a member MPCC team faces several doping cases due to a positive control or biological passport against its riders.
In September, Iglinskiy’s brother, Valentin Iglinskiy, tested positive for EPO. A statement from the Astana team on Valentin disclosed that management at Astana Pro Team have taken direct and immediate action to release the rider from his contract following the announcement by the Union Cycliste Internationale of a positive anti-doping test result for Valentin Iglinskiy during the recent Eneco Tour. The 30-year-old rider tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO at the Eneco Tour. He admitted to doping and is currently suspended provisionally by the UCI. Valentin Iglinskiy also said he used the banned substances on his own initiative and independently, without any consultation from the Astana Pro Team staff.
A Team Astana statement reads in its wish for full transparency, Astana Pro Team has refused to defend a rider who failed to respect the rules and ethics as stipulated in his contract and who has failed to behave in a manner consistent with other riders in his team and within professional cycling. It was added that the management and staff at Astana Pro Team confirm our commitment to clean cycling without doping with the immediate expulsion of Valentin Iglinskiy.