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Vinokourov Banned from 2009 Tour de France

by John Symon

June 16, 2009 (Lausanne, Switzerland) – Alexandre Vinokourov (formerly Astana), the Kazakh rider who was leading the 2007 tour before being caught blood doping, was banned on Tuesday from the upcoming 2009 TdF reports AP. The decision was handed down by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following an appeal launched by the UCI to extend his suspension.

Vinkourov was originally given a one-year suspension by the Kazakh cycling federation, but the UCI eventually challenged that as being too lenient asking instead for a two-year ban. That request was granted by the CAS and Vinkourov now cannot resume professional racing until July 24, 2009. And he must find a team.

Meanwhile, Astana suspended their Kazakh rider Assan Bazayev for two weeks for not providing sufficient information on his whereabouts for the purposes of drug testing according to BBC. Because of an internal team sanction, the Kazakh road champion did not start in the Tour of Switzerland which began on Saturday.

Seven-time TdF winner Lance Armstrong and 2007 TdF winner Alberto Contador both ride for Astana this year although the final team selection for the 2009 Tour has not yet been announced yet.

More on this story AP and Guardian.

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