Did Vinokourov pay off his rival?

Alexander Vinokourav might have retired from professional cycling, but there are a few controversies surrounding him that refuse to die down.

During the ending months of last year, the Olympic gold medallist was accused of paying off a rival in order to secure the pole position in the one day classic race which was held in Belgium in the year 2010. The accusation was brought forth by an Italian daily.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera had reported that Vinokourav had made a payment of $120,000 to Russian rider Alexandr Kolobhev and asked him to ease off during the last sprint at the Liege-Bastonge-Liege Classic, 2010. To support its claim, the newspaper had published emails that prove that the race was fixed and Vinokourav and Kolobhev had exchanged bank details between themselves. The newspaper had also claimed that the Swiss authorities had provided the details of the bank transfer.

Vinokourav’s win in the 2010 race was first after serving a two year ban for blood doping during the 2007 edition of the Tour de France. During the race, he had finished six seconds ahead of Kolobhev. The details of this alleged fixing were handed over to the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the authorities in Belgium.

According to the reports, the first email was sent on the 26th of April, 2010, one day after the race from Kolobhev to Vinokourav. In the mail Kolobhev said that though he had a great chance, he did not do it (win the race) not for the contract but for the position which Vinokourav was in. He said that he was waiting patiently and also gave Vinokourav his transfer details and asked him to delete the mail.

Vinokourav has responded to this mail 12 days later and said to Kolobhev that he had done everything right. Vinokourav also wrote that he will take care of everything.

Old Fox’s Fight Back

Alexander Nikolaevich Vinokourov, born on the 16th of September 1973 is one of the greats that cycling has to offer. Currently he is a former Kazakhistani professional at road racing and general manager of the UCI Pro team Astana. Of his many achievements in world cycling, the gold medal at the London Olympics was sure to end his career at an all time high.


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Alexander Vinokourov was banned from cycling for two years after he and the Astana team were disqualified from the Tour de France in 2007. From then on it had been a rising curve for Alexander Vinokourov. He was always going to deal with unique analysis after he won the Olympic street competition on the 28th of July 2012, but though concerns about doping endangered to throw darkness over what should have been a wondrous Olympic victory, Vinokourov said that his doping past was well behind him. After 12 years he finally made his Olympic gold win in London. His never say die attitude left quite a lot of fans in the world of cycling.

Team Astana started as a nationwide venture, designed as a career for the dreams of Alexander Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin. It saw many ups and downs but finally lost after all the doping scandals associated to it in 2007.The Astana team which was nowhere at first in 2012, but it came out of the blue to win two of the Adrennes Classics and managed to be in the first five ranks of another by late April. Astana met or surpassed objectives on almost all fronts. The exemption was perhaps Roman Kreuziger, who seemed to still paying back for his “small motor” opinion about Vincenzo Nibali years ago. Long heralded as an upcoming tour champion, Kreuziger’s ongoing ability of winning a lot of achievements in smaller level events has still kept him from winning a tour.