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Vinokourov's team allowed to race in Tour de France

6/22/2006

GENEVA -- Cycling's governing body, UCI, announced on Thursday that the Astana-Wuerth team, implicated in
a doping scandal in Spain, can remain part of the sport's top
ProTour.

The decision means that from the UCI's point of view,
Astana-Wuerth can race in the Tour de France, which starts in
Strasbourg on July 1.

Astana-Wuerth, formerly known as Liberty Seguros, is led by
Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov, a major Tour prospect who was third
overall in 2003 and fifth in 2005.

The Spanish team's manager Manolo Saiz was detained by
police as part of a huge anti-doping raid last month. Saiz
resigned and Liberty Seguros withdrew its sponsorship.

The UCI said on Thursday that "on the basis of current
information, the commission for ProTour Licences informed the
ProTour president that it was incapable of making a decision ...
about teams that could be affected by this 'affair.'"

"We will intervene should new information become available.
Astana-Wuerth can continue for the moment in the ProTour."

Astana-Wuerth said it had no comment.