Astana fired Valentin Iglinsky after cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), announced today that he tested positive for drug EPO at the Eneco Tour. The 30-year-old Kazakh raced the Eneco Tour in mid-August and placed 96th overall.
“[The] management at Astana Pro Team have taken direct and immediate action to release the rider from his contract,” read a team statement.
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“Valentin has admitted to using prohibited substances on his own initiative and independently, without any consultation from the Astana Pro Team staff.”
The younger brother of Maxim, who also races at team Astana, won the Tour of Hainan overall twice and a stage at the 2011 Tour of Turkey. Besides riding for French team Ag2r in 2013, he has raced for his home team since 2009.
This year Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France for team Astana but did so without the help of Iglinsky. The team, however, has had its share of doping cases in the past with Mathias Kessler, Vladimir Gusev and Remy di Gregorio. Team founder Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive at the 2007 Tour de France, but later returned to win the 2012 London Olympics road race and 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Astana maintains a stricter doping policy with its membership in the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) and as a result, did not hire Franco Pellizotti in December 2013.
“With the immediate expulsion of Valentin Iglinsky, the management and staff at Astana Pro Team confirm our commitment to clean cycling without doping,” it continued in a team statement.
“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.”