Spain's 2003 world road race champion Igor Astarloa, who retired from the 2008 Tour of Italy after just one stage following a blood test carried out by his Milram team, could be axed by the German outfit it was revealed on Thursday.
Milram asked the 32-year-old to retire from the Giro following the test after he had appeared in the first stage, the team time trial in Palermo. The result did not mean he has tested positive, Astarloa's team added, saying they would decide later whether to sack him. His lawyer is meanwhile contesting the results.
Astarloa has been at the Milram team since 2007 but it has been four years since his big year of success, when he won the Fleche Wallonne race and then the world road race championships in Hamilton, Canada.
Milram let go star Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi in the middle of this month after the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended him for a year following a positive doping test.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008