Leonid Tyagachev, the Head of the Russian Olympic Committee, has denied any link between Russian athletes, coaches and figure skating specialists with Russian crime boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, who was arrested not long ago in Italy on the demand of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI accuses Tokhtakhounov of bribing judges at the Olympic figure-skating competitions, held in Salt Lake City in February this year. It is claimed that this brought the Russian pair Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze the gold medals in the pairs figure skating event.
In his interview with RIA Novosti, the head of the Committee said the FBI had invented their accusations. Tyagachev stressed that if Russian athletes and organizers had had any connection with Tokhtakhounov, then the leadership of the Russian Olympic Committee would have known about it.
According to Tyagachev ,"American secret services can have no evidence," as Russian athletes have nothing to do with corruption.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969