Vinokourov's ban stems from positive test at Tour de France

Updated: December 6, 2007, 11:38 AM ET
Associated Press

ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- Alexandre Vinokourov was banned from cycling for one year for doping.

The Kazakh rider was banned Thursday by his country's cycling federation, Vinokourov's former Astana team said in a statement on its Web site.

Vinokourov and his Astana teammates were forced out of this year's Tour de France when he tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning the 13th stage. Astana subsequently fired Vinokourov after his "B'' sample confirmed the positive result.

Vinokourov's ban will run through July 2008.

International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said he was surprised by the length of the ban.

"Normally for such a violation the ... ban is two years," McQuaid said, adding that the UCI would consider whether to appeal the decision.

Blood transfusions increase an athlete's red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the muscles.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press