Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Valentin Iglinskiy

Valentin Iglinskiy
News is coming in that Valentin Iglinskiy and his brother Maxim were stopped for speeding by French police at around 9pm on Tuesday night. According to initial reports on French RTL radio, Tests showed the 27-year-old Team Astana rider Valentin to be over the legal driving limit for alcohol and positive for cocaine. Maxim, who rode in this year's Tour de France which finished on Sunday, was arrested and taken into police custody, says French website Cyclism'Actu. However, police later stated that the rider did not provide a positive test result for cocaine.

The Kazakh-born brothers, who now live in Monaco, are said to have been travelling in a Volkswagen Golf at 203kmph in a 110kmph limit on the A8 motorway.

Cyclism'Actu also claims that the Iglinskiys was returning home from a party at the home of Alexandre Vinokourov, the Astana rider who was banned from professional cycling in 2007 after failing an anti-doping test at the Tour de France. Vinokourov announced his retirement at the time, but later returned to the sport and competed alongside Maxim in the Tour this year until being forced to abandon following a crash in Stage 9. He announced his second retirement shortly afterwards.

Maxim Iglinskiy
According to Nice Matin, Valentin paid a fine of 1800 euros and is likely to be banned from driving in France.

Astana has confirmed that the rider was stopped for speeding and that while the roadside breath test showed he was over the the alcohol limit, the saliva test did not prove positive for cocaine - this has subsequently been confirmed by police. The team has categorically denied that the Iglinskiys had spent time with Vinokourov during the day and also stated that anti-doping inspectors had carried out tests on Wednesday morning. Cocaine is banned from competition, but the UCI cannot institute sanctions against a rider who uses it recreationally when not competing, though it remains a criminal offence and as such may result in police prosecution.

Astana also said that Valentin, who speaks French very poorly, signed legal documents without being able to understand what they said - in which case, the police will have some questions to answer too. We'll bring more updates when we get them.

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