Vinokourov criticises personal attacks after alleged hacking of email account
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Vinokourov criticises personal attacks after alleged hacking of email account

by Shane Stokes at 7:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Astana rider says he’ll consider legal action if articles on his private life are published

Alexandre VinokourovAlexandre Vinokourov has said that he is considering legal action following the apparent hacking of his emails plus the publication of articles about his private life. In a statement the rider and his team have said that during an interview with a Swiss journalist, the rider discovered that there had been an intrusion into his email account.

His team has described this as ‘a new episode of the pressure and personal attacks that the Kazakh leader suffered in recent years.’

Vinokourov appealed to be left alone to finish his career in peace. “I do not understand why some people are always looking to find some stories about me,” he said in a statement. “I am a cyclist and there is no place in our sport for the gutter press.

“I don't ever allow myself to attack anyone personally. I wish to finish my career quietly even though obviously it bothers some people that I'm still on a bike.”

It is not clear what information was obtained in the alleged hacking of his emails.

The communication also referred to ‘bad intentioned’ people who previously used his name on Twitter; this may relate to the parody account Vinokourov criticised in June and had closed down. Its tweets included statements such as ‘no Giro for Vino this year, route too easy,’ and ‘Vino love the rain. Vino love the cold. Vino love the hot. Vino not feel the difference.’

While those messages were harmless and were a humourous reference to his toughness, other tweets were more edgy, and led to his concern.

Today’s statement concludes with an affirmation that Vinokourov is committed in his support of the President of Kazakhstan in future elections, making it possible that the email breach was related to this area.

Last month he was named as one of the candidates for parliamentary elections on January 15th. The ruling Nur Otan party announced the identities of 127 candidates, with Vinokourov being part of a group of well-known sportsmen, artists and singers.

In October the current Kazakh Cycling Federation president Kairat Kelimbetov told Time.KZ that he would vacate the post next November, and suggested Vinokourov could take it over.

Vinokourov has said that he will consider legal action if further articles about his private life are published in the future.

He is due to end his career after the London Olympics, and is tipped to either take up a senior role within the Astana team or a political career.


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