Russian figure skaters in pair Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze intend to demand a "serious trial" in connection with the accusations, according to which they received Olympics-2002 gold, owing to the support of Alimdjan Tokhtakhunov, recently arrested in Italy and also known as "Taiwanchik". They said this at a joint press-conference with French ice-dancers Marina Anisina and Gwendal Peizerat.
"We are puzzled and very disappointed by the American media comments, concerning our victory in pair skating in Salt Lake City," Sikharulidze said. According to him, "they won gold medals without any help." At the same time, he added that it is "very hard to speak about Tokhtakhunov's personality." The American part declared that Tokhtakhunov was arrested "for framing up decisions of the Russian and French judges, so that the Russian pair won in pair skating and the French pair won in ice dancing." Thus, according to the FBI, "he wanted to acquire French support in order to receive a residence permit in France, where he had a luxurious two-storey apartments in the prestigious 16th district in Paris." President of the French National Ice Sports Federation Didier Gailhaguet in his turn said that the FBI arguments had "aroused Homeric laughter in him." "Mister Tokhtakhunov is a braggart and a dangerous mythic clown," he said.
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