Russian diplomats checking reports on searches of biathletes amid championships in Italy

Russian diplomats checking reports on searches of biathletes amid championships in Italy
  • Clock-gray 13:35
  • calendar-gray 22 February 2020

Russian diplomats are checking reports about searches at rooms where Russian biathletes live amid World Championships in Italy's Antholz-Anterselva, the Russian consulate general said on Saturday, APA reports citing Sputnik. 

"The consulate general of Russia in Milan is checking media reports about searches at rooms of Russian biathlon team members," the mission's spokesperson told reporters.

The diplomats are contacting Italian police for clarifying circumstances of the situation, the spokesperson added.

"An employee of the Russian consulate general has been dispatched to Anterselva, where the Biathlon World Championships is currently underway and the Russian team is stationed, for assisting Russian biathletes on the spot," the mission added.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Drachev, the head of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU), stated that the Italian police might suspect Alexander Kasperovich, the personal trainer of Russian biathlete Alexander Loginov, of smuggling illegal performance-enhancing substances under someone else's accreditation, 

"The reason is simple, [it is] a statement by one of the IBU [International Biathlon Union] higher-ups about testing Alexander Kasperovich and Alexander Loginov as an athlete previously caught using doping. They think that there is some kind of connection. The search is linked to accreditation and doping. Kasperovich may be hiding under another person's accreditation and smuggling prohibited substances to the world championship," Drachev said.

The official added that the search had been concluded. Drachev is currently at a police station together with Kasperovich, while Loginov is preparing for an upcoming race.

Later on Saturday, the Russian team is competing in the World Championships Men's Relay. Both Garanichev and Loginov, as well as Matvey Eliseev and Nikita Porshnev, have been set to participate in the race.

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