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Tour de France takes another doping blow

 The 2007 Tour de France contender Alexandre Vinokourov is riding the sport towards the Dark Ages.

Tour de France takes another doping blow The 2007 was the year Tour de France was hoping to get its name pulled out from the mud, after so many doping scandals, the last involving the 2006 winner Floyd Landis. But the A-test of Alexandre Vinokourov have taken the doping scandal surrounding the Tour to a new (lower) level. Strong favorite to win the 2007 Tour de France (betting odds 3/2 by Bodog Sports), Vinokourov doping test was announced to be dirty.

 The test was administered after Saturday's time trial in Albi which he won by more than a minute. According to a Tour official, Alexandre Vinokourov contained two types of red blood cells, on young and the other old,  indicating he had had a red blood transfusion from a compatible donor shortly before Saturday's time trial to enhance his performance.

 The Astana team, which Vinokourov founded himself by gathering sponsors in his native Kazakhstan, announced official withdraw from Tour de France. Although Vinokourov is acing a B-test to confirm or deny the results of the A-test, the detection of this old-style transfusion is considered foolproof. Vinokourov's team manager, Marc Biver, said that he was guilty until the B-test proved otherwise.

 The overall leader, Michael Rasmussen, is also facing suspicion  for missing two out-of-competition tests and faces allegations of drug use.

 The sportsbooks are also suffering form the constant doping scandals surrounding Tour de France. Refunds on the favorite Alexandre Vinokourov will have to be issued to the customers. This is not only extra overhead for the bookmakers, but if Alexandre Vinokourov did not win, it's also money lost. There are also rumors that most of the online bookmakers will not offer betting odds on the 2008 Tour de France.

Published on 07/25/2007

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