Vincenzo Nibali has insisted that he will be staying on with his Astana team despite a spate of doping cases in Kazakh cycling.
By
Cycling Central

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

Nibali's WorldTour Astana squad suffered two suspensions when the Iglinsky brothers Maxim and Valentin were brought down for the use of EPO.

Three riders from the Astana Continental team also fell foul of the anti-doping authorities forcing the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation to suspend the development squad and sack its general manager, Dmitriy Sedoun.

Although the two teams are different, the five cases have combined to put the Astana WorldTour team under pressure and its license, which is currently under annual review by the International Cycling Union (UCI), under a cloud.

Kazakh cycling federation official Kairat Kelimbetov says its internal investigation "will be organised in full accordance with the UCI rules."

However, 2014 Tour de France champion Nibali insists there is nothing to worry about and that he will continue to to ride with the squad as he targets a 2015 defense of the title.

"The Astana ProTeam and Continental team, are two different things," Nibali told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "We have had two cases, the brothers Iglinsky, but it has been established that it was a family matter. The other three, who I don't even know, are idiots.

"I am certain that I have made ​​the right choice. I'm sure that the team will get its license, but if for absurd reason it does not happen, I will not go even if I have that right.

"It's not just me, there is a group of at least six or seven people who are with me. Where would I go? Astana has made an investment in us and we're staying put."