Kazakh cycling is in crisis overnight with the news that a fifth rider from the country, and third rider from the same team, has tested positive.
By
AAP

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

Artur Fedosseyev, 20, from the Astana Continental, which also acts as a feeder team to the WorldTour squad, tested positive for steroids on 16 August during the Tour of Ain, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Wednesday.

Fedosseyev thus became the third Astana Continental team member to fail a test this year following Victor Okishev, at May's Asian Championships, and Ilya Davidenok, at August's Tour de l'Avenir - the junior version of the Tour de France - who both also failed tests for steroids.

That is on top of two more Kazakhs, brothers Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy, of the professional Astana team, who were banned after testing positive for the banned blood-booster EPO.

After the third of the five positive tests, the UCI asked its licence commission to undertake a full review of the management and anti-doping policies of the Astana team. A decision has yet to be made whether or not to grant Astana a WorldTour licence for 2015.

Astana were excluded from the 2008 Tour de France after a series of doping scandals at that time, denying then-Tour champion Alberto Contador the opportunity to defend his title. It was also the time when current team manager Alexandre Vinokourov was an Astana rider and was himself serving a two-year ban for a blood transfusion.

Astana were interviewed by the UCI earlier this month with relation to their internal drug-testing policies and subsequently announced a collaboration with the Kazakh anti-doping agency to monitor their riders' biological passports.