On February 13th, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) barred Team Astana from competing in any race or event organized by the ASO in 2008. The ASO owns premiere cycling events like Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, and the famed Tour de France.
The ASO cited Team Astana's doping scandals of last year’s Tour de France as justification. Last year the entire team was disqualified in Stage 16.
There can be no comparison between the Astana team of 2007 and the new Astana. The entire organizational structure has been rebuilt under the direction of the team’s new General Manager, Johan Bruyneel (former manager of the disbanded Team Discovery Channel) , who has thoroughly cleaned house.Last year's winner of the Tour de France was Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) who now rides for Team Astana as well as Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) who came in third. Because of ASO's ruling, neither of these riders will be able to compete in the Tour this year.