Cycling - Vinokourov and Kolobnev charged with bribery

AFP
Cycling - Vinokourov and Kolobnev charged with bribery
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Yellow jersey Alexandre Vinokourov from Kazakhstan competes in the individual time trial during the 63rd Criterium du Dauphine cycling race third stage on June 8, 2011 in Grenoble. German Tony Martin won the stage and British Bradley Wiggins led the race. AFP PHOTO PASCAL PAVANI (AFP Photo/PASCAL PAVANI)

- Controversial former Kazakh 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 has always denied the accusation and claimed it was a loan.

AFP

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