25 Aug 2009

Vinokourov returns to Astana after serving doping ban

6:51 pm on 25 August 2009

Alexander Vinokourov, who returned to cycling this month after a two-year doping ban, is back with Astana and will race for them in this week's Tour of Spain.

The Kazakh rider, who won the 2006 Tour of Spain, has signed a contract with Astana until the end of 2010.

The 35 year old was banned for two years after testing positive for blood doping in the 2007 Tour de France.

He denied any wrongdoing but was kicked out of the race and his Astana team were told to leave the event.

The Kazakh funded team were not invited to the 2008 Tour de France but returned this year, placing first and third through Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong respectively.

U.S. rider Armstrong says he will quit Astana to form an American-based team in 2010 in partnership with RadioShack Corporation.