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Vinokourov potentially looking at six-month prison sentence for Liege-Bastogne-Liege corruption case

Prosecutors request prison sentence and large fine for role in Liege-Bastogne-Liege corruption case

Joe Robinson
10 Sep 2019

Alexandre Vinokourov and Alexander Kolobnev are looking at being handed six-month prison sentences for corruption if both are found guilty of fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

The case is currently being heard at the Liege Criminal Court in Belgium and the prosecution has requested that both be handed a six-month jail sentence for passive and active corruption in which Vinokourov is alleged to have paid Kolobnev in order to win the one-day race.

The prosecutor's office is also requesting that Vinokourov be handed a €100,000 fine and Kolobnev a €50,000 penalty.

It is alleged that Vinokourov, who was riding for Astana at the time, retrospectively paid Kolobnev €150,000 for letting him win the 2010 edition of Liege.

These claims first came to light in 2011 when Swiss newspaper L'Illustre claimed Vinokourov had offered Kolobnev €100,000 for the victory. Both strenuously denied the allegation.

During a separate investigation into doping doctor Michele Ferrari, an email was uncovered which appeared to confirm that the Kazakh had transferred the sum to his Russian counterpart.

Following this discovery, in 2015, investigators from the Belgian court recommended the case go to trial with the original date being set for May 2017. 

Vinokourov - who was recently crowned age-group Ironman 70.3 champion - defended the payment by claiming the fee had been transferred due to his investment into a property company owned by Kolobnev.

The defence claims the allegations are based on stolen and fabricated documents and have requested acquittal. The case has now reached its conclusion and the judge is expected to rule on 8th October.