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Alexandre Vinokourov cleared of corruption in race-fixing case

Astana Pro Team 2019 - Team Presentation

ALTEA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 16: Alexandr Vinokurov of Kazakhstan General manager Astana Pro Team during the Astana Pro Team 2019 - Team Presentation on December 16, 2018 in Altea, Spain. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

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BRUSSELS -- A judicial official says former Olympic cycling champion Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow rider Alexandr Kolobnev have been cleared of corruption charges in a suspected case of race-fixing.

The pair faced up to six months in jail after being accused of fixing the result of the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.

In a message to The Associated Press, Liege prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Catherine Collignon said they were given “the benefit of the doubt.”

Both riders had denied accusations that Vinokourov paid Kolobnev 150,000 euros to let him win the race. Prosecutors had also requested that Vinokourov pay a fine of 100,000 euros ($110,000), and Kolobnev faced a fine of 50,000 euros ($55,000).

Vinokourov won the 2006 Spanish Vuelta and four individual stages at the Tour de France between 2003-10. He was given a two-year ban after testing positive for blood doping at the 2007 Tour but came back to win the men’s road race at the 2012 London Olympics.

He now serves as team manager for Astana, where he spent much of his professional career.