Alexandre Vinokourov, the Kazakh cyclist who was ejected from the Tour de France 2007 after testing positive for blood doping, is busy with his next venture: a luxury sports facility for top athletes. Vinokourov bought a 44-hectare property near Grasse, France where he and his business partners are developing a luxury sports training center that includes a football field with heated lawn, thalassotherapy center, tennis and squash courts, and Olympic-sized swimming pool.
They plan to open before the 2012 Olympic Games and invite national teams to train there. At present, there is a 12-century edifice that belonged to the Knights Templar on the property, which houses the hÃ´tel de la Commanderie. Critics say that not enough is being done to protect the flora and fauna in the area around the facility. Cynics are wondering if it will include a world-class “medical enhancements” research and treatment center.