Alexandre Vinokourov cleared of race fixing

The Astana team boss faced six months in prison over allegations from the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow rider Alexandr Kolobnev have been cleared of race fixing by a Belgian court.

The two men, both former pros, faced up to six month in jail after they were accused of fixing the result of the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

According to The Washington Post (opens in new tab), a spokesperson for the Liège prosecutor’s office said they were given “the benefit of the doubt.”

The case revolved around accusations that Vinokourov paid Kolobnev €150,000 to let him win the race.

Vinokourov was accused of paying rival Kolobnev to stop him contesting the two-up sprint in the final of the 2010 edition of Liège.

Both 46-year-old Vinokourov, who is now general manager of Astana, and Kolobnev denied the allegation.

The prosecutor at a Criminal Court in Liège had called for both Vinokourov and Kolobnev to be jailed for six months and fined €100,000 and €50,000 respectively, but on Tuesday (November 5), a judicial official confirmed that both men had been cleared of the corruption charges.

Vinokourov is the winner of two additions of Liège, in 2005 and 2010, and also claimed the 2006 Vuelta a España.

He was banned for two years after testing positive for blood doping at the 2007 Tour de France.

Vinokourov then won the 2012 Olympic road race in London, announcing his retirement as he collected his medal.

Since leaving the professional peloton, the Kazakhstani returned to Astana, the team where he spent much of his career, as general manager.

Kolobnev, 38, rode for Katusha from 2010 until 2015 and retired the following year while riding for Russian team Gazprom-RusVelo.

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Vinokourov continues to compete in sport at a high level, most recently becoming world champion for his age category in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon.

He took on the triple-discipline event on Sunday (September 8) in southern France, competing against the likes of British triathlon star Alistair Brownlee.

Last October he competed in the full Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii in just over nine hours, seventh in his division and 201st overall.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.