Monday, November 28, 2011 -
Kazakh Olympic cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov on Friday was named as a parliamentary candidate for the ruling Nur-Otan party.
The rider was among a list of the party’s 127 candidates announced ahead of the elections of the lower chamber of the parliament, the Majilis, on January 15, the cyclingnews.com news agency reported.
“It’s an honor for me to participate in the election as a candidate for a position as a deputy,” the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency quoted Vinokourov as saying.
“This is a new path for me but I think it’s quite normal for sports people to stand for parliament.”
But Vinokourov will participate in the London 2012 Olympics and has suggested he would not assume his seat until he has retired from the sport.
“I want to finish this year in the saddle, and maybe next year participate in the Olympic Games, concentrate on them and afterwards help Kazakhstan as I can,” the sportsman said.
The Kazakh parliamentary list system permits an elected candidate to step into his job at a later date by replacing a sitting lawmaker.
Vinokourov has earlier announced he would retire in 2011. The cyclist had been barred from competing in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing owing to a two-year suspension for blood doping. He won a silver medal in the road race in Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Also called as candidate representing the Nur Otan party Friday was Dariga Nazarbayeva, the daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.