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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 July 2007, 20:27 GMT 21:27 UK
B-sample confirms Vino positive
Vinokourov
Vinokourov says he has been tested more than 100 times
Alexandre Vinokourov's positive test for blood doping in the Tour de France has been confirmed by his B-sample, but he plans to challenge the result.

Vinokourov, who failed the test after last Saturday's time trial, believes the testing system - being used for the first time in the Tour - is unreliable.

"These test results simply make no sense," he said in a statement.

"You would have to be crazy to do what I have been accused of, and I am not crazy," the Kazakh rider added.

Vinokourov's solicitor Maurice Suh also defended last year's Tour winner Floyd Landis, who is currently awaiting a ruling on whether he should be stripped of his victory.

Taking away a victory from an athlete improperly is just as much of a tragedy as an athlete cheating

Maurice Suh
Vinakourov's solicitor

Landis tested positive for excessive testosterone levels during last year's race but the results were not made public until after the Tour had finished.

Blood doping, which Vinokourov is accused of, involves adding extra red blood cells, either by removing and then re-injecting an individual's own blood or by adding someone else's.

Vinokourov and his solicitor have taken issue with the "flow cytometry test" used by the Laboratoire National de Depistage et Dopage.

"As of now, the public has only heard one side in these test results," said Suh.

"We encourage everyone to keep an open mind about the test results and not to assume that the LNDD has done everything correctly or has achieved accurate results.

"Taking away a victory from an athlete improperly is just as much of a tragedy as an athlete cheating - both take away victory from the true winner."

Vinokourov, a 10-year veteran, stated: "I have always raced clean.

"Never before this year's Tour de France have I ever been accused of violating any doping law.

"I have been tested at least 100 times during my career. These test results simply make no sense."

Michael Rasmussen - then race leader - followed Vinokourov out of the Tour on Wednesday, when his team sacked him for lying about his whereabouts when he was being sought by doping testers.

The Dane had intended to return to competition in the Decoplant Grand Prix, which starts in Copenhagen on Monday.

But race director Jesper Tikioeb said: "We've decided that Michael Rasmussen's participation would constitute a handicap for the competition."

Meanwhile, officials from Tour organisers ASO stepped up their war of words with world governing body the UCI at the start of Saturday's Tour time trial in Cognac.

ASO president Patrice Clerc called on senior UCI officials to resign and said his organisation would take the lead in combating doping in future.

SEE ALSO
Where now for cycling?
26 Jul 07 |  Cycling
Vinokourov dominates time-trial
21 Jul 07 |  Cycling


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