Judge in Liege indicted Alexandre Vinokourov and Alexandr Kolobnev in May over alleged payment to secure 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race win

Alexandre Vinokourov and Alexandr Kolobnev were formally accused in May for corruption after Vinokourov allegedly paid Kolobnev for the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race win.

According to a report on website Sudinfo.be, Vinokourov (riding for Astana) paid Russian pro Kolobnev (riding for Katusha) a total of €150,000 to secure the 2010 Liege victory. Liege judge Philippe Richard indicted both parties with a charge of private corruption in May, but the information has only just come to light. The case may take months to be resolved.

Allegations that Vinokourov bought the Ardennes Classic win first surfaced in December 2011, but both parties have always denied it.

Apparently two payments were made by Vinokourov to Kolobnev, of €100,000 and €50,000. An amount of €150,000 was subsequently deposited in Vinokourov’s account by the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation, allegedly a prize for being the ‘best Kazakh rider of 2010′.

Vinokourov retired from professional cycling after winning the London 2012 Olympic Games road race at the end of a chequered career that saw him banned in 2007 for failing an anti-doping test for blood doping at the Tour de France that year. He returned to racing in 2009. He is currently general manager for the Astana team.

Kolobnev has a current contract with Katusha. He failed a test for a banned diuretic at the 2011 Tour de France but was subsequently cleared after taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in March 2012.

The result of an investigation by the sport’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) into the bribery allegation is still pending.

Alexandre Vinokourov wins, Alexandr Kolobnev 2nd, Alejandro Valverde 3rd, Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2010

  • Mark Windsor

    Thanks Bob. Great banter! A true wit. Sorry, forgot to add the four letter prefix beginning with F before the word ‘wit’. I’m sure YOUR mum will explain!

  • Mark Windsor

    In my opinion Vinokourov should have a lifetime ban from cycling. He is far, far more slippery than any other pro-rider, active, banned or retired and is continuing to damage the sport. He is totally unrepentant and lacks any morality at all. Why a cyclist like Nibali would ride for a team tarnished by this man I do not know.