Aug 22 2007
Remember how Kazakhstan invited Sascha Cochen to visit, to show the actor how the country actually was? Or how they blocked access to his website because they felt the Borat character was so unrealistic? Well, someone apparently forgot to pass the “Kazakhstan is not backward” memo along to the sports ministry, as now the Kazakh cycling federation is claiming that Kashechkin has tested negative. In what test this result came about was not mentioned explicitly.
While Team Astana’s spokesperson shrugged cluelessly, Nikolai Proskurin, Kazakh cycling federation president, claimed, while never specifying how, that the tests of Kashechkin were “erroneous”, that Kashechkin is currently preparing his defense, and that Andreas Kloden has no intention of quitting the Astana Team. In fact, the German will be co-leading Astana at next month’s Vuelta a Espana, which, as luck would have it, the team has been re-invited to. High five! Proskurin concluded the interview by noting that all other countries have inferior potassium.
Returning to reality for a moment, the people who actually carry out dope tests have admitted that maybe there’s a little room for tweaking how the ProTour works after all. It’s a good plan, as some prefabbed ProTour races (such as the currently running ENECO Tour) are struggling to draw fans and competitors alike, though Tyler Ferrar’s 4th place in today’s prologue won’t hurt American audiences. As he’s only 3 seconds out of the lead, let’s not forget, the American is a solid sprinter.