Tokhtakhounov was born in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, in 1949. In early years he was an amateur football player, playing for junior team ofPakhtakor in some seasons. His attempts to continue his career in CSKA Moscow failed and he soon ceased to play. Tokhtakhounov was twice imprisoned: in 1972 and in 1985 for Parasitism.
In early 90's he left Russia and settled in Paris, France. There he was soon accused in committing illegal business deals and smuggling ofhardware from Germany. He was also reported having relations with Russian mafia, including ethnic Georgian mobster Tariel Oniani.
In 2002 Tokhtakhounov was accused in bribery of ice skating judges in the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was arrested in Italy by USA request, but the Italian court denounced the extradition bid and freed Tokhtakhounov.
In Russia he was investigated concerning the legality of his Russian citizenship.
He is notably close to professional Russian tennis players. For instance, a 2002 article in the Belgium daily La Libre Belgique  reported on interviews of Russian players following Tokhtakhounov's arrest in Italy. Yevgeni Kafelnikov defended his "friend", Marat Safin refused to discuss a topic that was "not his problem" while Anna Kournikova commented "I have heard of this man. But I don't think I should talk about it. I am Russian and I will have to go back there". Pressed to say whether Tokhtakhounov could be called a mobster, she answered, "One might say that."