When Astana rider Alxender Vinokourov was busted from the 2007 Tour de France for a pretty obvious case of blood doping, he received an astonishingly light 12 month ban from the Kazakhstan cycling federation. A UCI challenge to the lack of severity was postponed because the dope cheat retired at that point.
Now that Vinokourov has announced his return from retirement, cyclingnews.com reports that the UCI has reactivated the appeal. The UCI apparently seeks a doubling of his ban. And so they should. The guy is a fraud and cheat, and lied about the blood doping bust at the time, with flimsy excuses that his abnormal blood results were due to his injuries sustained earlier in the Tour de France.
While I confess to enjoying watching Vino’s Tour de France heroics (often on the back of tactical stupidity), I’m not keen on seeing an unrepentant doping cheat make it back to the pro peleton. I’d be surprised if Astana (under its own new management of Bruyneel and Armstrong) would want him back. They have enough on their plate keeping Contador happy after Armstrong’s own return from retirement and dealing with all the whispering about Armstrong’s past (I have an open mind about those doping allegations).