At a special ceremony in Moscow today honoring the best of the deceits in sports worldwide, cycling’s very own Alexander Kolobnev received the coveted “Crony of the Year” Award for 2011.
Kolobnev beat out Brazil’s former sports minister, Orlando Silva, and FIFA’s Mohammed Bin-Hammam for the prize, showing geniune elation on stage during his acceptance speech.
“I never thought I’d be in contention for this award. I have to thank Igor Makarov, the Russian Cycling Federation, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and my good friend Alexandre Vinokourov. I am happy to be recognized for assisting others in achieving their goals. I’d also like to thank my family,” shouted a jubilant Kolobnev.
It was touch and go as to whether Kolobnev would win the award, but the recent race-fixing scandal involving the Russian professional cyclist was the event that pushed him to victory. The alleged deal brokered between Vinokourov and Kolobnev for the former’s win of Liege-Bastogne-Liege undoubtedly solidified the Katushan’s “Top Crony” designation.
Kolobnev was proud of his achievement while discussing the victory with the press, surrounded by Putin, Makarov, and a contingent of Katusha’s team and management.
“It’s been a tough year. But I’m glad I took the advice of Makarov to exit the Tour de France in exchange for the Order of Merit. I’m glad I stayed silent on the doping issues in the sport in exchange for a slap on the wrist from the Russian Cycling Federation. And I’m glad to have supported my good friend Alexandre in exchange for the alleged financial compensation, I mean loan. In this world, crony capitalism certainly pays,” stated Kolobnev.
The event was hosted by the IOC in conjunction with SportAccord, and featured the comedic presenting skills of Ricky Gervais and Eurosport personality David Harmon.
“It was enlightening to see the Who’s Who of sporting corruption assembled in the same room and making deals while the ceremony was in action. Quite a sight for me to see Henricus Verbruggen laughing away with Sepp Blatter during the commercial breaks,” observed Harmon.
The event also honored Lance Armstrong with the Horst Dassler lifetime achievement award for decades of alleged deceit and double dealings. Armstrong mocked his “most-tested athlete” mantra with the help of former media icon Conrad Black, who was flown in to present Armstrong with the award.
Stay tuned to cyclismas.com for the complete listing of award winners.