Cycling is as clean as other professional sports but low budgets and a weak federation have made it an easy target for the media and anti-doping crusaders, according to banned rider Alexander Vinokourov. More StoriesDon't single out cycling - Antequera Vinokourov retires The 34-year-old Kazakh announced his retirement from the sport last week after he was suspended by the country's cycling federation for a year following a positive test for a homologous blood transfusion during the 2007 Tour de France. "Cycling is a scapegoat now," he said. "I don't think bike racing is any dirtier than other sports - soccer, tennis. It's just popular to sensationalise bike racing these days, and they are just trying to do it as often as possible." The pre-Tour favourite, who won two stages of this year's race, was sacked by his Astana team in July following the positive test. Vinokourov said budget disparities made the International Cycling Union an easy target for the World Anti-Doping Agency. "In all of cycling there is a budget of maybe 200 million euros (£144 million)," Vinokourov said. "But if you take soccer for example, at Chelsea alone there might be 300 million euros. It's just completely different money." Vinokourov said WADA was closing its eyes to suspected doping in other sports because the professional federations running them were too powerful and would not submit in the way cycling had. "If WADA is really fighting for clean sport, then why is it that if in Spain [doctor Eufemiano] Fuentes has a list of 150 athletes, they only announce the cyclists?" he said. Fuentes was at the centre of the Operation Puerto investigation, which was launched after police found anabolic steroids, blood transfusion equipment and more than 200 bags of blood at addresses in Madrid and Zaragoza in May 2006. The case was closed in March without any charges laid, although the Spanish government has appealed against the ruling. Vinokourov thought cycling was risking its livelihood and status by constantly bowing to pressure from WADA. "What I see is that cycling is moving in this direction where it's going to be tough to fight, and if it continues it's possible that it could be excluded from the Olympics, and then bike racing will just die." He said riders were less to blame for the current state of cycling, which has been hit by a number of doping scandals this season, than the administration running the sport and the managers who surround it. "I see us as a good group of people with a bad conductor. Everybody plays their own music and in the end you just end up with a complete mess," he said. Former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis admitted to doping, saying he took performance enhancing substances during 1996, the year of his race victory. In September, 2006 Tour winner American Floyd Landis was stripped of his title and suspended for two years for a positive test for synthetic testosterone during his victorious ride. Landis is appealing the punishment. Michael Rasmussen was sacked by his Rabobank team, while leading the 2007 Tour for lying about his training schedule, an allegation the Dane denies, and Italian Cristian Moreni failed a dope test for testosterone. Vinokourov has maintained his innocence and is appealing against his ban. "Of course I want to lodge an appeal. Nobody would allow his image, something built up over years, to be pulled down in one day," he said. Pulled from the Eurosport site ! He has some good points of which ive emboldened.