Vinokourov and Kolobnev Charged With Bribery

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BRUSSELS, Aug 20, 2014 (AFP) – Controversial former Kazakhstan rider
Alexandre Vinokourov and Russian Alexandr Kolobnev have been charged with
bribery by Belgian justice authorities and will face trial later this year,
Belgian media reported on Wednesday.

The now retired Olympic road race champion Vinokourov, 40, is accused of
paying 33-year-old Kolobnev, who is still competing for the Katusha team,
150,000 euros to allow him to win the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege one day
classic.

Vinokourov, who is now managing the Astana team for whom Tour de France
champion Vincenzo Nibali rides, allegedly made the offer to Kolobnev as they
geared up for the sprint finish.

According to the Belgian media the investigators possess several email
exchanges which detail 150,000 euros being transferred from Vinokourov’s
Monaco account to that of Kolobnev’s in Switzerland.

Vinokourov, who was thrown out of the 2007 Tour de France for blood doping
which led the whole of the Astana team to leave the race, has always denied
the accusation and claimed it was a loan.

However, Liege prosecutor, Philippe Richard has charged the pair and the
trial is set to take place in a few months’ time, according to the SudPresse
media group.

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