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Cycling: Kazakhstan Sport and Physical Culture Agency will defend Vinokourov: Yermegiyayev

12 november 2012, 11:03
0
Kazakhstan cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy
Kazakhstan cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy
Kazakhstan Agency for Sports and Physical Education will defend prominent Kazakhstan cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov who has been accused of paying off 150 thousand euro to his rival Russian cyclist Alexandre Kolobnev to ensure victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege classical one day race in April 2010, KazTAG reports, citing Talgat Yermegiyayev, head of the Agency, as saying.

“If this bribery will be proved, we will still defend and support our athlete. However, I don’t know how they will manage to prove this bribery. Alexandre Vinokourov won several Tour de France stages, he won the Olympic Games and was a silver prize winner of the Olympic Games and that’s why I am sure that everything will be alright,” he told the journalists at the sidelines of the Parliamentary plenary sitting on Thursday, November 8.

Yermegiyayev also said that he tried to contact Vinokourov several times. “He is the Manager of Astana cycling club at present. So, he is not on the list of our team cyclists. He lives in Europe at present and that’s why I have failed to get in touch with him. However, Kazakhstan Cycling Federation closely watches this investigation,” he contniuned.

Earlier Kazakhstan Cycling Federation reported that the organization keeps track of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) investigation into the case of the Kazakhstan cyclist.

“The fact that there is an investigation constitutes no precedent. There have been many investigations and more are launched every day in the elite sport. We are working closely with the UCI and looking forward to hearing the organization’s decision. I’d like to note that we will adhere to all UCI legal rules and regulations in any case,” Allen Chaizhunussov, Kazakhstan Cycling Federation Vice President said.

Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that investigative authorities of Italian city of Padua could provide incontestable evidence that Vinokourov persuaded his finishing partner Alexandre Kolobnev to yield the victory to him for 150 000 euro. Investigators could present to the court an e-mail conversation that took place between two athletes and confirm it with details of the money transfer made by Vinokourov to Kolobnev account at one of Switzerland’s Locarno banks.

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