Lausanne - Alexandre Vinokourov has beaten the International Cycling Union in court, and need not pay a $1.7m fine for doping at the 2007 Tour de France.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld Vinokourov's appeal that the UCI and his Astana team pressured him to declare before the race he would pay one year's salary toward anti-doping projects if he got a two-year ban.
CAS says the UCI's so-called "Rider's commitment" contract was a public relations exercise with no legal basis.
Vinokourov twice tested positive for banned blood transfusions during the race before Astana was asked to leave.
The Kazakh rider served his ban and returned to racing despite UCI attempts to block him until the fine was paid.
The ruling revealed that Vinokourov's gross salary from Astana was $1.2m in 2007, though he was paid $575 000 before his contract was terminated.
The court said cycling's governing body never made clear if the intended fine referred to salary before or after tax, or if commercial earnings should be taken into account.
It ordered the UCI to pay Vinokourov $10 400 toward his legal fees.