The Flying Kazakh has returned a blood test positive for blood doping via transfusion... (which is roughly the same thing that Tyler Hamilton was caught for). The only thing we don't know is whether he received a blood transfusion when he was treated for all his various cuts, bruises, and stitches after his big crash... that could at least create a shadow of a doubt of his guilt.
Here's a nice charicature by Murray Webb borrowed from the cyclingfans.com website.
The entire Astana team has been withdrawn from the race.
This is a real shame for cycling, but explains how Vino has been able to make such dramatic comebacks during this years' edition of the race. It's easy to say 'I told you so...' but the optimist in me wanted to believe that Vino is the talent he was entirely because of his work-ethic and personality. Eric Boyer, manager of Team Cofidis, put it bluntly: "He always told us what a brave guy he is, that he is stronger than the pain, that the French ride behind everyone else because they are lazier. Now we see that he is a big bastard." And there you have it, a Frenchman calling a Kazakh a man born out of wedlock. Wars have been fought for less. And my money would still be on the Kazakhs.
A few more comments and updates are here.