Astana's place in the WorldTour looks under threat as the UCI ask the Licence Commission to review the team's management and anti-doping policies after a third rider fails an anti-doping test.
Following on from riders Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy, who both tested positive for blood booster EPO in August, llya Davidenok of the Continental Team Astana tested positive for anabolic androgenic steroids at the Tour de l'Avenir at the end of the same month.
Kazak rider Davidenok has requested to have his B sample analysed, but will be provisionally suspended until the results of the analysis come through.
The incidents have cast a serious cloud over the team, who celebrated victory at the Tour de France this year with Vincenzo Nibali, and they will now face an assessment from the Licence Commission to determine whether they are suitably complying with the ethical criteria set out by the UCI.
The Licence Commission is a the UCI's body for issuing, reviewing and withdrawing WorldTour licences, and will now decide whether to withdraw the licence from Astana, whose management includes Alexander Vinokourov, who was involved in a number of doping scandals himself during his career.
The UCI has declined to comment further at this stage.
Astana says it wants to reaffirm its 'absolute zero-tolerance policy towards all incidents of doping and unethical activity' in wake
Positive EPO tests for Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy of Astana 'raises questions' about the team's management
Kazakh rider Valentin Iglinskiy failed test for EPO at Eneco Tour and admits to using the banned blood booster
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1