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Vinokourov banned for 1 year for doping

Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan has been banned from cycling for one year for doping. The Kazakhstan Cycling Federation said the ban will run until July 2008, 12 months after his positive test.

Vinokourov and his Astana teammates were forced out of this year's Tour de France when he tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning the 13th stage. Astana subsequently fired Vinokourov after his "B" sample confirmed the positive result.

International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said he was surprised by the length of the ban, adding that normally such a violation gets two years. McQuaid said the UCI would consider appealing the decision.

If the 1-year ban stands, Vinokourov would be eligible to compete in next year's Beijing Olympics, which begin in August.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.