Astana cycling team under investigation in Luxembourg

Astana cycling team under investigation in Luxembourg


Astana cycling team under investigation in Luxembourg

PARIS (Reuters) - The company holding the Astana Qazaqstan professional cycling team s licence has been under judicial investigation, according to legal documents Reuters has seen on Wednesday.

The investigation was opened by the Luxembourg prosecutor s office last January under the local criminal code s article 140, which includes  the forgery of documents, misuse of corporate assets, breach of trust, money laundering, and fraud .

The licence of Astana Qazaqstan, managed by former Olympic champion Alexandre Vinokourov, is being held by Luxembourg s Abacanto SA, a publicly listed company that represents athletes and manages sporting events.

Neither Astana Qazaqstan or Abacanto could be immediately be reached for comment.

The investigation was triggered by a Deloitte audit from 2019.

"To be honest, I learned about this whole story from the press, and until that moment I was not familiar with the details of this investigation," Vinokourov told Kazakh sports website on Wednesday.

"Apparently, we are talking about some kind of legal procedure that was initiated a year ago, when the managing director of Abacanto there was another person, while I performed purely sports functions until the summer of 2021."

Astana Qazaqstan was founded in 2007 and had the likes of Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and Vincenzo NIbali ride in their colours.