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Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).

MPCC: Astana can continue racing until B sample confirms doping positive

Astana manager Vinokourov has been in talks with MPCC president Legeay to confirm team's options for upcoming WorldTour races

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) announced Thursday that the Astana team will not have to auto-suspend until Maxim Iglinskiy’s B sample returns a positive result or the rider confesses to doping. This leaves the door open for the Kazakh team to participate in Sunday’s Giro di Lombardia.

The MPCC stated, “This [auto-suspension] approach does, however, apply only after the result of the counter-analysis, if the rider requests it. MPCC has specifically asked the Astana team to hear its rider Maxim Iglinskiy, in order to know if he makes a confession or requests counter-analysis.”

According to MPCC rules, which are voluntarily followed by participating teams, “In the event that a member MPCC team faces several doping cases due to a positive control or biological passport against its riders, the team agrees to temporarily suspend operations.”

Questions were raised about Astana’s compliance with MPCC rules after Iglinskiy became the team’s second rider to test positive for EPO in the past month. Iglinskiy’s brother, Valentin, tested positive for EPO in September.

Manager Alexander Vinokourov has been in contact with MPCC president Roger Legeay concerning the Kazakh team’s latest anti-doping violation.

According to the MPCC, Vinokourov “warned personally Roger Legeay, president of MPCC, to give an explanation about this new case.” This indicates that Astana was unclear as to whether it is required to auto-suspend itself for eight days, starting on the day of the next WorldTour event, which would be the Giro di Lombardia on Sunday.

The MPCC’s voluntary standards are stricter than the UCI’s, which has led to some controversy, such as the recent suspension of Chris Horner by Lampre-Merida, which foiled the American’s plans to defend his Vuelta a España title at the 2014 race.