Lampre confirms talks with Kashechkin

Lampre confirms talks with Kashechkin

Officials from Lampre-Farnese Vini have confirmed they are in talks with Kazakh rider Andrey Kashechkin, but denied reports they have signed the former Astana rider to a contract.

In a letter published on the Italian website, Tuttobici, team officials said they are studying the possibility of signing Kashechkin, who tested positive for homologous blood doping during the 2007 season.

Andrea Appiani, Lampre’s director of communications, said the team is reviewing an offer from Kashechkin’s representatives to join the Italian squad.

Appiani said the team is also in contact with the UCI to confirm Kashechkin’s status, adding that it’s “premature to talking of a contract” and denied that Kashechkin would race the Tour de France.

The 30-year-old Kazakh, who turned pro in 2001 and was racing with Astana, was nabbed in out-of-competition tests ahead of the 2007 Vuelta a España.

He served a two-year racing ban that ended in August 2009, and has since only raced the 2009 world championships. He has not signed with a pro team and is at odds with the Astana squad, where compatriot Alexander Vinokourov returned to the team following a similar blood doping case.