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by Shane Stokes
February 21, 2015
After previously being one of the ambassadors for the Almaty bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, Alexandre Vinokourov has resigned from the position following a strong reaction about his past.
The former pro rider, who won the 2006 Vuelta a España, clocked up four stages in the Tour de France and became Olympic road race champion in 2012, was listed as the first Almaty 2022 ambassador on the official bid website.
This led to a strong reaction due to his positive test for blood doping during the 2007 Tour de France, where he took two stages.
Vinokourov retired after his Olympic road race triumph in 2012 and has since then become the general manager of the Astana team. It was plunged into controversy when two riders with the WorldTour squad, one stagiaire and two riders from the Astana Continental team all tested positive in recent months.
Vinokourov’s appointment as an ambassador for the Games was called into question during a recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission inspection.
The bid’s vice-chairman Andrey Kryukov justified that position, claiming that Vinokourov would remain in place due to his position as an Olympic champion, because he served his punishment and because they “believe in second chances.”
However, as noted by the Inside the Games website, Vinokourov’s name has since been removed from the website.
Inside The Games sought to clarify the situation and was told by a bit spokesperson that the Kazakhstani rider had resigned from the position.
That spokesman sought to reposition the ambassador role, saying that Vinokourov was “only part of the application phase.”