BREAKING NEWS

Pro-tour cycling team Astana have retained their elite status for the 2015 season despite suffering a series of doping cases within the outfit.

The Kazakh team, who boast Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali amongst their ranks, are however ‘‘on probation’‘ according to president of the sport’s governing body Brian Cookson and will be audited to ascertain whether the team is responsible for recent doping cases.

Five members of the Astana team failed tests including brothers Valentin and Maxim Iglinskiy.

The team were provisionally stripped of their licence last week but following a review by the Licence Commission were given it back for next year’s campaign.

With the licence Astana will be eligible to compete at top-level races including the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.