On December 6, 2011, Swiss magazine l'Illustre published an email correspondence between the winner and runner-up that suggests Vinokourov paid Kolobnev €100,000 not to contest the final sprint. While Kolobnev has not commented on the allegations, Vinokourov has denied them, claiming that the payment was part of his "private life", and that he "makes payments left and right" but "never offered to buy the win from Kolobnev". On December 7, Vinokourov announced legal action against l'Illustre for an "invasion of privacy", and threatened further litigation against "anyone who infringes on [his] integrity".
On December 8, the UCI, whose rules specifically ban "collusion or behavior likely to falsify or go against the interests of the competition", announced it would investigate the incident.
Both riders were later charged with bribery by Belgian authorities.