UCI wants evidence on Vinokourov bribery allegations
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

UCI wants evidence on Vinokourov bribery allegations

by Ben Atkins at 1:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Governing body keen to establish the facts over 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège finish

Alexandre VinokourovThe International Cycling Union (UCI) has confirmed that it is seeking evidence from the Swiss magazine l’Illustré, which published allegations that Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) paid rival Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) to let him win Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April 2010. In a statement issued this afternoon, the sport’s governing body confirmed that it wants to establish the facts before considering possible action over the matter.

“Further to the information published today in the Swiss magazine « L’Illustré » concerning alleged misconduct at the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège race,” the statement reads, “the UCI has asked that the magazine provide the UCI with any evidence which would allow the facts to be clearly established. Once the situation has been evaluated the UCI will decide, in accordance with the UCI Rules, whether any measures need to be taken. Until the conclusion of this phase of the investigation, the UCI will make no further comments on this matter.”

Vinokourov himself has denied that there is any truth in the allegations. He claimed on Monday that his email had been hacked, and today said he had begun legal action against l’Illustré over the matter.

If the UCI decides that the allegations are true, and that Vinokourov and Kolobnev colluded at the finish to allow the Kazakh to win, it could potentially disqualify both riders from the event. UCI rule 1.2.081 states that: “Riders shall sportingly defend their own chances. Any collusion or behaviour likely to falsify or go against the interests of the competition shall be forbidden.”

In that case the victory would be awarded to the third place rider. However the rider that stood on that step of the podium was Alejandro Valverde who, as part of his suspension for involvement with notorious doctor Eufemiano Fuentes – as uncovered in Operación Puerto – has had all of his results from that period annulled.

The rider who has since been classified as third, and so would potentially be awarded a retrospective victory, is Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto); the winner of the 2011 edition of the race.


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