Kazakhstan capital Almaty is bidding against Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Alexander Vinokourov has been named an ambassador

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The organising committee of Almaty’s 2022 Winter Olympics bid has defended the appointment of Alexander Vinokourov as an ambassador.

Vinokourov served a two-year ban after being caught blood doping at the 2007 Tour de France and is now the general manager at Astana, who, themselves, have been embroiled in several drugs scandals in recent months.

Olympic news website insidethegames reports that the 2012 Olympic road race champion is yet to play any formal role in the Kazakh capital’s bid.

And when the website contacted the bid’s vice-chairman, Andrey Kryukov, he reportedly insisted that “there is no evidence he is currently involved in doping” and they “do not see any negative impact on his involvement in the bid”.

Almaty is locked in a two-horse race to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, with Beijing the only other city to formally submit a bid.

While cycling is not part of the Winter Olympics, UCI president Brian Cookson discussed the possibility of moving track cycling to the winter Games if it means more events could be included. Cookson is also backing the inclusion of cyclo-cross in future Winter Olympics.