Cycling - Astana insist: We are clean

Exclusive: Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli has told Eurosport that the team intends to join anti-doping movement MPCC.

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Team Astana Pro Team from Kazakhstan crosses the finish line during the men's team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Valkenburg (Reuters)

Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible was established in 2007 by cycling teams intent on cleaning up the sport.

Martinelli said the Kazakh team are discussing joining it with their doctors and will make a final decision at their training camp at the beginning of December.

"I think it is an important thing to do, to try to change something or in any case to send an important signal," he said.

"Maybe we don’t talk about it so much, but we really do a lot (of anti-doping work). We have an internal system that monitors all cyclists day by day. We perform our internal controls.

"We are a team that has changed a lot since two years ago. We are seeing the results of that now.

"Until now, for that specific reason we have not had any more problems. But it’s too early to talk - as I said, we need to work more and talk less."

Martinelli insisted that no-one at the team has had any recent contact with Michele Ferrari, the Italian doctor handed a lifetime sports ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency for numerous violations.

Astana's entire management resigned ahead of the 2008 season over a doping scandal involving Alexander Vinokourov, but their next chief, Johan Bruyneel, has since been accused of involvement in doping himself and was sacked by RadioShack-Nissan this year.

"All this is history. During these last few years I think everybody knows (Ferrari) is out of cycling," he added. "If some stupid person after that goes to Ferrari I think they really should not be racing anymore.

"Since I arrived, from 2010, I have never seen the Ferraris - I have not seen them with our team. I think the idiots - we have a lot of them in our sport - have understood the story now and they are very careful."

The UCI are investigating claims made by Swiss and Italian newspapers that after returning from a two-year blood doping ban, now-retired Olympic champion Vinokourov then paid off a rival in order to win his second Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic in 2010.

'Vino' is now general manager of the squad.

"He will explain everything that he has done and what he hasn’t done," said Martinelli.

"He is an intelligent and serious guy, so he will know how to take responsibility.

"He was calm when I saw him five, six days ago in our training camp. If he is calm I think we can be as well."

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