Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Head of Russian Figure Skating Federation denouncing western campaign against Russian athletes

Valentin Piseyev, Head of the Russian Figure Skating Federation said on Thursday that its official representatives did not have any links with Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Valentin Piseyev said at a press conference devoted to some scandalous statements directed at Russian figure skaters that he himself, Sergei Kononykhin, a member of the Executive Committee of the International Skating Union and Sergei Sviridov, a member of the Executive Committee of the Russian Figure Skating Federation officially represented the Federation at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov, known as Taivanchik, was detained in Italy on charges brought against him by the USA. He was accused of bribing the judges so as to gain points for Russian figure skaters.

"No one of us had anything to do with Taivanchik. We have come to know about him through mass media reports," Piseyev stressed.

In his turn, First Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee Vladimir Vasin said that "this campaign excites nothing but bewilderment and indignation." He said that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) instructed the Ethics Commission to examine the current situation and submit a report for a late August session of the IOC Executive Committee. Vasin stressed that the Russian Olympic Committee will be defending the honour of the Russian athletes.