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Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2012, 18:07 »
UCI "There was insufficient evidence to open an investigation".

Thats one of the points of an investigation, to discover evidence. :fp
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #31 on: November 05, 2012, 18:14 »
    Quote
    The UCI has always treated this kind of problem extremely seriously but when the matter first arose following a report in the L'illustre newspaper, there was insufficient evidence to open an investigation
    The UCI lying through its teeth, and evident in the space of two sentences. Stupidity. The claims were made in July too btw, where was the UCI then? Bloody darn seriously they took it.

    What will come off this supposed investigation? Nothing, most likely. A governing body with vested interests will definitely, as far as possible, look to sweep it into oblivion. The case really lies with the Belgian authorities. I expect him to get off, but for want of evidence rather than it reflecting reality.

    Astana license being stripped by the UCI? Fat chance.
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  • Kvinto

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #32 on: November 05, 2012, 20:25 »
    I find it hard to imagine the situation. The last ~15km of one of the most prestigious races in the calendar. Vino/Kolobnev duo on the attack, anything can happen in the blink of an eye so they are constantly accompanied by cameras. Even though the viewer do not get the whole front group’s picture from A (km15 – the group formed) to Z (km 0.5 - Vino drops Kolobnev) the cameras are always on, and I believe the full recording exists somewhere. How can you talk about the bribe in front of the cameras that are patiently catching your grimace in constant expectancy of the action? I believe the jeopardy of being lip-read afterwards should have deterred the duo from a direct conversation on this matter or maybe it is all about Vino’s awesomeness – he just had winked or raised an eyebrow and Kovobnev instantly grasped that 100.000 euros do not grow on trees?  O0 Theoretically it could’ve been done indirect, through directeur sportifs' arrangement but only if the earpieces are a safe and confidential way of providing the information, and that would mean more than just Vino and Kolobnev are involved.

    Also, a bribery payment through a wire transfer, especially for frauds from post-soviet countries, is, I believe, very unusual to say the least. That's what cash is for.

    I dunno, this is certainly possible that the scam took place but for now the story contains quite a lot of white spots so the right questions should be asked to unveil the truth...
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    ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #33 on: November 05, 2012, 20:43 »
    The fact is that two transactions worth a total of 150k were made. That's not been, and is unlikely to be, explained.

    The emails suggest that there's a reason the payment's made. And it doesn't suggest that Kolobnev is receiving as part of charity.

    The cameras may point at one rider all the while, but how often do you exactly hear what they speak? Lip reading? Look away from the camera.

    They didn't transfer hard cash and used a direct transfer of money (or so is thought), so? There was a dodgy money exchange. And it's rare for such amounts to be hard cash transfers, usually it's through fake accounts. But there is still the mystery of the 150k for transfers between said accounts.

    And if we do defend it as being just a part of sport having happened for years (as is happening on CN), maybe we should start condoning doping too. no? It's happened for eras and will continue happening forever.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #34 on: November 06, 2012, 08:48 »
    The mechanics of how this was done? Firstly, we should not assume from the 'structured evidence' of emails and bank transfers that the practice is in any way sophisticated.

    Alert: personal hunch

    My hunch is that these things are done on a simple 'gentleman's agreement' with no figure agreed beforehand, that what happened out on the road was just a signal, maybe a word or two at best, to confirm that something could and would be done. Post-race, it was then up to "Kolobok" to press home the value of his sacrifice and for Vinokourov to award that as he saw appropriate. No figures were discussed in the emails because no figures had been agreed. A gentleman pays what he thinks is fair.

    Perhaps "Kolobok" later felt that €100,000 wasn't fair enough, especially since Vinokourov later won a Tour stage and thus put beyond any doubt the level of his post-suspension value as a rider. The extra €50k was perhaps a sweetener for a guy whose career might have gained substantially had he won LBL fair and square. Of course, it could also have been nothing more than a transactional spread for accounting purposes, but who knows.

    Tangential argument, clutching at straws

    What if there's an insiders' cruel joke here? What if the €50k was not actually an LBL top-up?

    Popo was raided in November 2010 and stories were starting to come out between then and Christmas 2010 about Ferrari, which suggests that the heat was really on in the Padova investigation. Was Vinokourov still working with Ferrari on the down-low? Was "Kolobok"? Did Vinokourov feel that silence needed to be bought as well as LBL?

    However, mitigating against this is the provenance of these emails. Whence did they come? Beyond the Ferrari investigation link, that question has not been asked. How did Roberti get what was essentially a private email conversation involving two riders only one of whom is an official target of the investigation? His team must have seized emails from "Kolobok" and the only time that could have happened officially and publicly was April 2011, when we know Katusha was "visited" by the Brescia authorities.

    I need not remind folks who have bothered to read this far that April 2011 was several months after the last LBL payment so I could be reaching far beyond the present universe. I will nevertheless leave the door open on this point since it is perfectly possible that Kolobnev had been targeted earlier and that it was never made public.

    Alert: another slice of pure personal speculation / reaching / wondering aloud

    Since we're on the subject of personal hunches, and since I have already stretched this out way too far, allow me to skip gamely off-topic for a moment. You see, I do not believe any positive announced in the Tour de France these last few years happens by pure accident. I think the potential for skulduggery (a fine and entirely underused word) exists at this level and for "Kolobok" to ping the following season in fullest view of the world for a minor substance is, for me, as fish-smelling as Franklin's positive this year. There is probably no firm reason to suspect a relationship between payoffs and positives, but that whole 'minor diuretic' thing still bothers me today. Perhaps "Kolobok" got too greedy. ;)
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    ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #35 on: November 06, 2012, 13:51 »
    Don't think Padova had any raids or whatever earlier. The details made public aren't exactly secret. Maybe they've got more, but thinking that this is a more recent development since Padova has gained momentum.

    Cronje came from just as flimsy stuff, Gibbs shat massive bricks to even enter India for a decade and his links were not definite. Oh, yeah that was a police case. The ICC wouldn't have done a bit. The UCI will do even less imo.

    Anyway, if Kolobnev did ever feel threatened, he could easily tow Mohammad Aamer's line. I was bullied.
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  • Kvinto

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #36 on: November 06, 2012, 16:38 »
    The fact is that two transactions worth a total of 150k were made. That's not been, and is unlikely to be, explained.

    The emails suggest that there's a reason the payment's made. And it doesn't suggest that Kolobnev is receiving as part of charity.

    The cameras may point at one rider all the while, but how often do you exactly hear what they speak? Lip reading? Look away from the camera.

    They didn't transfer hard cash and used a direct transfer of money (or so is thought), so? There was a dodgy money exchange. And it's rare for such amounts to be hard cash transfers, usually it's through fake accounts. But there is still the mystery of the 150k for transfers between said accounts.

    And if we do defend it as being just a part of sport having happened for years (as is happening on CN), maybe we should start condoning doping too. no? It's happened for eras and will continue happening forever.

     :-\

    First of all it annoys me that you resorted to the “if we do defend it...” argument without even trying to figure out whether I defend something/someone or not and in this matter I can assure you that my natural curiosity is the only thing I am willing to defend. 
     
    You have (care about) your facts (two transactions and emails). That’s quite enough to:
    1. Bring Vino and Kolobnev to account
    2. Convict (strip of titles, ban etc.) them if they cannot explain these facts (and you’re right that it is unlikely to be explained)

    I’m digging deeper. Simple questions (irrelevant for you, maybe irrelevant to the investigation but interesting for me):
     
    :-\ How was it arranged?
     
    “Hey, Sasha, I want to win the race so badly, how about 50k to compensate for your inconveniences?... No? 100k?... 150k?... OK, deal!” 
    or maybe:
    “My friend, why should one of us lose today? We can both be in profit if I cross the line first, think about it“

    :-\ When was it arranged?

    As far as I remember the first suspicious thing about Vino/Kolobnev’s ride that day was that Kolobnev rode in the first position almost all the time, so it’s reasonable to surmise that the supposed deal took place earlier, so that it should've been done in the limited time interval and the cameras might caught something strange (and looking away from them (cameras) or covering the mouth while talking is also strange).

    :-\ Could third persons be involved?

    :-\ Why did they keep emails that could possibly unveil the fraud?

    This is sport where the police might knock into your door with a raid anytime. Is it carelessness or overconfidence to keep the emails?

    :-\ Why wasn’t it done in hard cash? 

    I deliberately emphasized on their origin (post-soviet countries). It is still an area where big cash payments are rife and for a scam it is reasonably safer than bank transfers. The question is the same (carelessness or overconfidence?) and with all due respect your ”so?” doesn’t help me answering it...  ::)
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #37 on: November 06, 2012, 16:59 »
    Read the post again, read the bracketed bit. I don't hide my posts with subliminal messages (pretty much everyone would agree on that), it's directed where it says it is. Maybe that'll subdue your annoyance.

    Why wasn't it done in cash? A 150k in cash would usually raise far more concerns than transactions especially if it were from a happy tax haven bank. And it's so much more inflexible. What would Kolobnev do after receiving the cash in one country? He'd have to invest it there. Not much else of a choice, can't take it to another place. And they don't exactly live in Kazhakstan at the moment.

    Third person involved? Not likely in this case. Why? What with the allegations so far. THe investigation will likely die out if they get one or both of these. Why do I say that? It's a precedence from other sports. And it's not easy to get evidence against someone who's not been named explicitly despite everyone doubting him.

    Fixing rife? Well a slight look at the betting markets. That's where it's far more likely for mine. That's a pit waiting to be exposed.

    As for the emails, a simple delete never deletes it from history. It's there somewhere in the internets.
    How was it done? Telegram, carrier pigeon, it's the same really. If there was a pre finish agreement, it's fixing.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #38 on: November 06, 2012, 20:27 »
    Read the post again, read the bracketed bit. I don't hide my posts with subliminal messages (pretty much everyone would agree on that), it's directed where it says it is. Maybe that'll subdue your annoyance.

    Why wasn't it done in cash? A 150k in cash would usually raise far more concerns than transactions especially if it were from a happy tax haven bank. And it's so much more inflexible. What would Kolobnev do after receiving the cash in one country? He'd have to invest it there. Not much else of a choice, can't take it to another place. And they don't exactly live in Kazhakstan at the moment.

    Third person involved? Not likely in this case. Why? What with the allegations so far. THe investigation will likely die out if they get one or both of these. Why do I say that? It's a precedence from other sports. And it's not easy to get evidence against someone who's not been named explicitly despite everyone doubting him.

    Fixing rife? Well a slight look at the betting markets. That's where it's far more likely for mine. That's a pit waiting to be exposed.

    As for the emails, a simple delete never deletes it from history. It's there somewhere in the internets.
    How was it done? Telegram, carrier pigeon, it's the same really. If there was a pre finish agreement, it's fixing.

    I read somewhere it was a couple of cheques.
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  • AG

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #39 on: November 07, 2012, 06:35 »
    I do think this happens in cycling a bit.

    I do think its a 'gentlemens agreement' kind of thing ....  I remember reading Robbie McKewens book and he talked candidly about some of that going on.  He says he offered Baden Cooke $50,000 to let him win the green jersey at the Tour (the year Cooke won), and Cooke turned around and offered him $100k  (which he said he said no to).

    I might be able to find the passage ... but it was all done in a few short words. 

    So I dont think its an extended negotiation.  A quick "150 thousand ? " in russian, and a nod  would be enough for them both to consider it a done deal.

    I do think that it happened fairly early on when they got away, as Kolobnev did most of the work ... and the whole "paying to work together" doesnt make sense in this instance.  Kolobnev had a much better chance of winning by working with Vino than if he refused to work and they were caught by the group behind, so he didnt need to be paid to help them stay away.
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #40 on: November 07, 2012, 06:41 »
    And if Kolobnev had agreed received money to just work with Vinokourov, he'd not be worried about being castrated.

    I read somewhere it was a couple of cheques.
    Got a source? Would make sense he did it such in a tax haven.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #41 on: November 07, 2012, 08:41 »
    And if Kolobnev had agreed received money to just work with Vinokourov, he'd not be worried about being castrated.
    Got a source? Would make sense he did it such in a tax haven.

    Ahem, turns out it was in this very thread. :-[ http://velorooms.com/the-doping-section/vinokourov-lbl-2010/msg71130/#msg71130

    Quote from: Le Soir
    ... According to the details of banking transactions sent by the Neuchâtel public prosecutor to Padova, two cheques of €100,000 and €50,000 went from a Monaco account held by Vinokourov to another in Locarno belonging to Kolobnev ...
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #42 on: November 07, 2012, 08:44 »
    I do think this happens in cycling a bit.

    I do think its a 'gentlemens agreement' kind of thing ....  I remember reading Robbie McKewens book and he talked candidly about some of that going on.  He says he offered Baden Cooke $50,000 to let him win the green jersey at the Tour (the year Cooke won), and Cooke turned around and offered him $100k  (which he said he said no to).

    I might be able to find the passage ... but it was all done in a few short words. 

    So I dont think its an extended negotiation.  A quick "150 thousand ? " in russian, and a nod  would be enough for them both to consider it a done deal.

    I do think that it happened fairly early on when they got away, as Kolobnev did most of the work ... and the whole "paying to work together" doesnt make sense in this instance.  Kolobnev had a much better chance of winning by working with Vino than if he refused to work and they were caught by the group behind, so he didnt need to be paid to help them stay away.

    Indeed, AG, and I would even wager that a figure wasn't discussed. Daft concepts like "gentlemen's honour" might dictate that the winner pays what he thinks is "honourable". That's why I think nobody talked about figures in the emails: it's not "gentlemanly". ;)
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #43 on: November 10, 2012, 13:36 »
    Ahem, turns out it was in this very thread. :-[ http://velorooms.com/the-doping-section/vinokourov-lbl-2010/msg71130/#msg71130

    Missed it.

    Anyway, the UCI investigation must be mint, so much that Sherlock would walk out in his knickers in reverence. It's even silenced the media ::)
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  • esafosfina

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #44 on: November 10, 2012, 19:27 »
    Hoo boy, I'm going to get my self roundly mugged here, but...

    I used have little problem with the buying and selling of races... well, in comparison to doping that is! I've ridden for teams that have both bought and sold races; been paid off to work for other teams or riders; and whilst I've never bought a victory I have received payment for 'gifting' a race to a rival. Could it be that my era of professional racing (89-91) was different in the acceptance of this sort of thing? Perhaps... but it occurs now, and I dare say it will for years to come.

    I'm not condoning, just playing devil's advocate... your thoughts on my stance?
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    AG

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #45 on: November 11, 2012, 00:16 »
    I realise that it happens, and its entirely different to actually be in that situation than just sitting at home commenting and passing judgement. 

    But I dont approve of it no.

    I can almost accept paying another team to work for you if they do not have a realistic contender (there is a big grey area, and I dont really approve but can accept that it happens and there isnt much you can do about it) ... but paying or receiving money to gift a race to someone else - no.  Not ever.

    Paying to win, or being paid not to win ... its race fixing. 


    That is quite different to gifting a stage in a stage race if you are in the GC hunt.   Using AC and his gift to Tiralongo as an example, he was using that effort / gift to try and win support from Astana and other teams for later in the race (or in the Tour).  It wasnt an exchange of money, but just racing tactics.

    Post Merge: November 11, 2012, 00:18
    Hoo boy, I'm going to get my self roundly mugged here, but...


    and no mugging.  Its an interesting question ... and your thoughts from someone who participated in that era or actually faced the problem are much more relevant here.

    Its easy to say "no way, I would never do that" ... but when you are actually faced with it, its often not that easy.
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #46 on: November 11, 2012, 01:51 »
    Hoo boy, I'm going to get my self roundly mugged here, but...

    I used have little problem with the buying and selling of races... well, in comparison to doping that is! I've ridden for teams that have both bought and sold races; been paid off to work for other teams or riders; and whilst I've never bought a victory I have received payment for 'gifting' a race to a rival. Could it be that my era of professional racing (89-91) was different in the acceptance of this sort of thing? Perhaps... but it occurs now, and I dare say it will for years to come.

    I'm not condoning, just playing devil's advocate... your thoughts on my stance?
    I disagree with it, but that's my stance. Maybe that's because of how cricket has dealt with such actions. I'd never be a pro cyclist as I'd be bathing in EPO and would be paying off U12 kids left right and centre to compete in races. That choice would be mine, and reprehensible. One would expect that there would be others like you who'd not pay to win.

    A bribe and win. That’s just as bad as doping for mine. And any further investigation into this could catch Vinokourov and Kolobnev with their pants down, but not enough to definitively prove fixing. He isn’t just breaking UCI’s softcock (and they are) rules here, he’s potentially breaking Belgian laws. 

    Once results are conjured before the finish, the credibility of the result is equally in question as if a doper did it. The event falls into the realms of WWF rather than sport. Even Armstrong had to beat his rivals, not just pay them off. I’m sure you know of Aamer, Butt and Asif. They were rounded off and put in jail for irrefutable evidence of bowling a pesky no balls (not really something that would harm the result of a match). But they deserved to be in jail simply for accepting a bribe to question the credibility of the match.  Vermin like them are a plague to sport, and hopefully they’ll not get a team (2 of them won't, one has assisted in anti corruption since) when they return.

    There is some grey though. What about of gifting of stages? I don’t like that either. Isn't that also a form of fixing? It's not brazen, and it has explanations. To make a doping analogy, gifting stages could be like salbutemol for asthma, while these allegations (and what really is most likely) are EPO. And to speak along doping lines, if such a flipping massive race is one that can be bought, is there any race where we can say that the winner really won it or did he just pay off his rivals?

    As it is, is this even a massive outrage in the cycling world? The media spit out a few reports saying the UCI investigate and forget it ::)
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  • esafosfina

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #47 on: November 11, 2012, 19:06 »
    Good points and well made. It throws up some very pertinent questions: who won what fair and square, for one. From experience I would say very few races actually are 'thrown' or 'bought' but when it's blatant I feel that professionalism has failed and the sport and spectacle has been sullied and demeaned.
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #48 on: November 12, 2012, 02:41 »
    I’d go along with that. I’d think that fixers aren’t the norm; they’re an exception, hopefully. And just asking you here, is it only an issue when blatant though? Nobody questioned either of these two till the allegations came out. It wasn't obvious. I'd much rather see a dull real contest than a twisting turning and always on edge of seat wrestlemania main event.

    What’s most worrisome is the UCI taking over an investigation. Without the Liege met (or whatever they’re known as) it will really amount to nothing. Padova has done their bit; can’t see them scouring out all evidence. The UCI as an agency isn’t getting its hands on financial transactions. They won’t be able to get transcripts of any possible calls (if recorded) or even records of call history if the telco is prudish. They’re stabbing in the dark with a rubber knife, and doing all that while not trying to show cycling in bad light.

    Proving this is out of the UCI’s means and jurisdictions, and their hurried acceptance of the investigation without any statement of looking for pertinent external cooperation smacks of nothingness. That gives the belief to me, rightly or wrongly, that this isn’t near an isolated case.
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  • Kvinto

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #49 on: November 16, 2012, 10:53 »
    From Cyclismas:



    Amen  8)
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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #50 on: November 16, 2012, 12:00 »
    Quote
    the Inner Ring ‏@inrng
    Meanwhile Kolobnev and Vinokourov will explain themselves in front of the UCI in a hearing expected for 7 January 2013
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    ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #51 on: November 16, 2012, 12:03 »
    From Cyclismas:



    Amen  8)
    Sage

    the Inner Ring ‏@inrng
    Meanwhile Kolobnev and Vinokourov will explain themselves in front of the UCI in a hearing expected for 7 January 2013
    ::)
    You'd think it's the CBI judging by that. Sweet flip all will happen, it's a flipping UCI hearing.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #52 on: November 16, 2012, 12:03 »
    A closed hearing, no doubt. There is no rational explanation for those emails but on the other hand, I don't think there's any disciplinary outcome for such a situation, is there?

    In which case, I predict: prize money returned, both riders DQd, nominal fine, no other sanctions.
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #53 on: November 16, 2012, 12:11 »
    A closed hearing, no doubt. There is no rational explanation for those emails but on the other hand, I don't think there's any disciplinary outcome for such a situation, is there?

    In which case, I predict: prize money returned, both riders DQd, nominal fine, no other sanctions.
    It's against the road racing rules. I'm not sure about the sanction (checking the rules, when it bloody loads :fp), but that have to be able to ban these riders if necessary. But, and repeating myself like a parrot, these can't be proven by a sports governing body and a tangential story about a long lost cousin being discovered in East Timor can't really be challenged by them.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #54 on: November 16, 2012, 12:15 »
    It's against the road racing rules. I'm not sure about the sanction (checking the rules, when it bloody loads :fp), but that have to be able to ban these riders if necessary. But, and repeating myself like a parrot, these can't be proven by a sports governing body and a tangential story about a long lost cousin being discovered in East Timor can't really be challenged by them.

    I am so cynical that I even find myself thinking up ways the UCI could beat this. The East Timor cousin thing is pretty cool though, Ram. I have to give you that one.  8)
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #55 on: November 16, 2012, 12:23 »
    I am so cynical that I even find myself thinking up ways the UCI could beat this. The East Timor cousin thing is pretty cool though, Ram. I have to give you that one.  8)
    Got a million ways to dodge this, aye.
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  • AG

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #56 on: November 16, 2012, 12:45 »
    cmon its the UCI.

    we dont actually expect any action do we?
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #57 on: November 16, 2012, 12:47 »
    cmon its the UCI.

    we dont actually expect any action do we?

    The need to be seen to do something and Vino has gone down before so maybe..... well no.

    But the Italians might just do the job before the UCI get around to it, and then the UCI will throw the book at them 
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  • ram

    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #58 on: November 16, 2012, 12:54 »
    The need to be seen to do something and Vino has gone down before so maybe..... well no.

    But the Italians might just do the job before the UCI get around to it, and then the UCI will throw the book at them 
    Furthest that can go is that Padova can prove the transactions; he's not breaking any Italian laws in Italian soil though. They need far more than 2 transactions to prove fixing, and I don't think that this case can prove fixing though it's bleeding obvious.

    They'll need to get Liege met on board to prove it in a criminal court of law. Even then it would be like Bruyneel avoiding certain countries. It would need an extradition order with other countries, and in the end it's only a fixing case, not extradition important case.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Vinokourov LBL 2010
    « Reply #59 on: November 16, 2012, 13:15 »
    Furthest that can go is that Padova can prove the transactions; he's not breaking any Italian laws in Italian soil though. They need far more than 2 transactions to prove fixing, and I don't think that this case can prove fixing though it's bleeding obvious.

    They'll need to get Liege met on board to prove it in a criminal court of law. Even then it would be like Bruyneel avoiding certain countries. It would need an extradition order with other countries, and in the end it's only a fixing case, not extradition important case.

    Sorry was not clear, I think Vino goes down for money issues brought up in the itialian investigation, therefore dirty, then the uci kick him while he is down.

    Our Russian friend collateral damage
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