Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.
Speaking after three of his Astana team-mates were announced in the past five and a half weeks as having tested positive, Jakob Fuglsang has expressed concern at the situation and what it might do for his reputation.
“It is not good for me and what people think about me,” the Danish rider told DR Sporten.
“I do not want anything to do with doping, and so we must hope that everything will be under control from now on and there will be no more cases. That there are no more on the team who are trying to cheat the system.”
The spate of positives began on September 10 when the UCI confirmed that Valentin Iglinskiy had undergone a doping test on the opening day of the Eneco Tour on August 11. It said that the A sample had revealed traces of EPO. The rider waived the right to have his B sample tested and was fired from the Astana team.
On October 1st the UCI’s list of provisionally suspended riders revealed that his older brother Maxim Iglinskiy had also failed an A sample test for the same substance.
The former Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Strade Bianche winner was part of Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour de France winning team and was tested on August 1st, one day before he finished 26th in the Clasica San Sebastian.
He too has decided against getting the B sample tested, although not before the Astana team indicated that he would do so and were able to ride Il Lombardia and the Tour of Almaty as a result.
A member of the MPCC anti-doping organisation, the team would otherwise have had to sit out those races under that body’s rules.
On Thursday the UCI revealed that a third rider, Kazakhstan’s national champion Ilya Davidenok, tested positive on August 27, shortly after winning stage four of the Tour de l’Avenir. His A sample analysis has revealed the presence of anabolic androgenic steroids.
He has ridden for Astana’s Continental team since January 1 2012, and became a stagiaire with the Astana Pro Team on August 1 of this year. Davidenok took the Tour of Qinghai Lake in July and placed eighth in the world under 23 road race championships in September.
The UCI has asked its Licence Commission to examine the cases. It will determine if the problem goes beyond the three riders, and if the team itself should be sanctioned.
Fuglsang suggests that he will leave the team if it loses its WorldTour licence. However he acknowledges that it could be difficult to find a new ride.
“It’s late in the year, and most teams are probably more or less full,” he said.