Oleg Tinkov at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2019.

UK government sanctions Oleg Tinkov

Tinkov's assets in the UK are being frozen.

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

Oleg Tinkov, who owned the Tinkoff team that employed the likes of Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan, has been sanctioned by the UK government, with his assets in the UK to be frozen.

Tinkov was one of several wealthy Russian individuals who, along with a number of Russian businesses, have been hit with sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Tinkov, 54, made the beginnings of his fortune in a variety of industries before he founded Tinkoff Bank in 2007. He initially became involved in the sponsorship of cycling via the Tinkoff Credit Systems team, which raced at the Pro Continental level. In 2012, Tinkoff Bank became a co-title sponsor of the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team, and Tinkov bought the team from Bjarne Riis in 2013.

With GC star Alberto Contador already on the roster, the squad signed Peter Sagan in 2015. Despite enjoying a fair bit of success in 2016, with Sagan winning his first Monument at that year’s Tour of Flanders, the team disbanded at the end of the year as Tinkov decided to end his commitment to cycling sponsorship.

In 2019, Tinkov was indicted on tax fraud charges by a US federal grand jury. He ultimately paid a settlement of more than $500 million, but avoided jail time. At around the same time, Tinkov was diagnosed with leukemia, and has since undergone chemotherapy.

In February of this year, Tinkov expressed opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on social media, writing, “Now, in Ukraine, innocent people are dying every day, this is unthinkable and unacceptable! States should spend money on treating people, on research to defeat cancer, and not on war. We are against this war!” Earlier this month, he followed that up with another Instagram post expressing frustration at being called an “oligarch,” writing, “I’m self-made, please stop calling me ‘oligarch’!”

Nevertheless, the British government announced on Thursday that Tinkov is being sanctioned along with several other Russians.

“These oligarchs, businesses and hired thugs are complicit in the murder of innocent civilians and it is right that they pay the price. Putin should be under no illusions – we are united with our allies and will keep tightening the screw on the Russian economy to help ensure he fails in Ukraine. There will be no let-up,” said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss via a press release.

“All those sanctioned today will have their assets in the UK frozen which means no UK citizen or company can do business with them, and individuals subject to travel bans are also prohibited from travelling to or from the UK.”

Editors' Picks