German rider Matthias Kessler has been sacked by the Astana ProTour squad after his ‘B’B sample tested positive for abnormal levels of testosterone.

Kessler, 28, has previously been suspended from the team pending further investigation after he failed an out-of-competition testosterone test on April 24.

Before joining Astana, Kessler rode for the T-Mobile squad.

This is further bad news for Astana after the squad’s Tour de France hopefuls Alexandre Vinokourov and Andreas Kloden both crashed in yesterday’s stage, sustaining serious injuries. Both riders, however, started today’s stage.

Astana have released the following press release today:

Astana Cycling Team received this morning the confirmation that the B-sample of Matthias Kessler also presented an unnormal degree of testosterone. This second proof confirms the first result. The rider is then fired from the Astana Cycling Team with immediate effect.

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