Team Astana's shameful legacy

Astana's history is riddled with doping suspensions and fraudulent riders. Let's take a look:

Vinokourov - doping suspension for EPO - now team manager - upon return, accused of buying the gold medal.
Kash - doping suspension for EPO
Iglinsky 1 - doping suspension for EPO
Iglinsky 2 - doping suspension for EPO
Contador - doping suspension for clenbuterol - loses 2 grand tours

Former team of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer
Former DS - Johan Bruyneel

Now, they're the reigning Tour champions. I think we're at the point where we have to resign ourselves to the fact that really nothing has changed in this sport.

"another thread? ok, i'm on it."
It's just an incredibly shady team on all fronts. Remember when Vino wanted to come back but it turned out the team didn't have any available spots and so he couldn't race as per the UCI rules? Sure enough, some young Kazakh suddenly 'decided' to retire.
The Bleeding Obvious

This is the team that arose following the take-down of Liberty Seguros (ONCE as was, the team Manolo Saiz built) - dating Astana's "shameful legacy" to their three positives and two firings in 2007 is a bit of a joke, no?

Go back to the start of ONCE and look at one of Saiz's key signings: Nicolas Torredos (recruited from the Spanish federation). Look at what Torredos was able to achieve with Laurent Jalabert. Look at what he was able to do with Alex Zülle. Look at what Johan Bruyneel learned there. Look at the other notable doctor Saiz signed: Fuentes.

Look at the actions of Saiz and his riders during the Festina Tour. Look at Roberto Heras's troubled Vuelta victory in 2005, the race he won, was stripped of and then re-awarded (a first in the history of the sport?).

And then look at Puerto, with Saiz at ground zero when the walls came tumbling down.

Look at the time outs they took in 2006 and 2007 - taking an eight day break today would be tiny compared to the month they pulled themselves off the road in each of those instances.

Look at who was originally brought in to remake as Astana the team that Saiz built, Marc Biver, and the stories he is interconnected with.

It's only then that you get to Vinokourov, Kessler and Kašečkin all popping positives in 2007, and Mazzoleni being fired over Oil for Drugs and Redondo being let go for “failing to abide by team rules”. It's only then that you get to the (mistaken) firing of Gusev. It's only then that you get to the Grand Tour organisers all agreeing to not invite Astana to their races in 2008 (until RCS felt the need to have them in Italy) and the arrival of Bruyneel and his posse. Then the arrival of Armstrong. Then Contador popping a positive. And Vino allegedly buying Liege (and later the London Games road race). And all sorts of other results that raised eyebrows.
Jagartrott said:
Toucher le cul d'un con.

les dieux sont des cons aussi parfois mais ca va...

you have nice arguments guys but all i see it's an absolutely awesome team with a nike kit that plays by the peloton rules...

2015 should be hardcore with tinkov vs kazakhs vs british empires. enjoy:cool:
Aug 31, 2012
They sure get caught a lot. Maybe they can hire a doctor from one of the other teams to make sure there are no positives?
Aug 13, 2009
Giuseppe Martinelli- Former manager for Pantani and Cipollini

When Vino left Telekom he took some staff with him. One of the key guys he took was Dr. Andreas Schmid, Telekom's main needle guy. His name is all over the Frieburg report. After some awkward questions his name disappeared from any team reference but he kept working with some riders.
May 26, 2010
fmk_RoI said:
But do they? Dating back to 2007 there's what, Vino, Kas, Kes, then there's Contador, Kreuziger and the two Iglinskiys. That's averaging one a year. Has anybody bothered to look at what the averages are for other teams?

I believe USPS, T-Mobile, Rabo, Festina, Gewiss can beat them for positives.......
Don't forget Liberty Seguros.

Also, you can add to the list of positives Vladislav Gorbunov, who was racing very strongly for Astana Continental in the Volta a Portugal last year before testing positive. I went searching for details of that and found the UCI's sanctions PDF.
Astana are the same as the other teams except they don't have the same need to be seen to be clean. This is what a 2014 cycling team looks like when you strip away the spin and the protection.

Although their doping seems like it could do with being a bit more up to date - perhaps that's why they're not even in the current top 10 on the CQ team rankings