UCI chief Brian Cookson wants Astana’s Alexandr Vinokourov to testify
• Plea to head of Tour de France-winning team
• Bjarne Riis also urged to talk to doping commission
William Fotheringham in Paris
The Guardian, Monday 28 July 2014 07.00 EDT
Astana's head, Alexandr Vinokorouv, right, tested positive for blood doping in 2007. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters
The UCI president, Brian Cookson, has called upon Alexandr Vinokourov and Bjarne Riis, the heads of the two most prominent teams in this year’s Tour de France, to testify before the independent commission on cycling’s doping history as a way of helping the sport move on from its past.
Vinokourov, who is in charge of the Tour de France winner’s Astana squad, tested positive for blood doping in 2007. Riis, who is in charge of Tinkoff-Saxo, winners of three mountain stages and the King of the Mountains prize, confessed to having used erythropoietin to win the 1996 Tour; he was initially expunged from the record but subsequently reinstated.
“I would like both of them to come to the commission,” Cookson told the Guardian at the Tour de France finish in Paris. “The commission doesn’t have powers of subpoena, but there is a court of public opinion here which is really important; those two people and others as well need to bear that in mind if they want to continue to operate in our world, opinion in the world of cycling would be much more favourable towards them if they came forward.”