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13 Jan, 2019 11:20

'I’d like to personally meet & discuss our issues': Loginov responds to Fourcade criticism

'I’d like to personally meet & discuss our issues': Loginov responds to Fourcade criticism

Russian biathlete Alexander Loginov has expressed his desire to “personally” discuss criticism directed at him from French rival Martin Fourcade, following the former’s IBU Biathlon World Cup sprint triumph in Germany on Friday.

After Loginov swept first place in the 10km Oberhof, five-time Olympic gold medalist and 11-time world champion Fourcade, who called the victory a “disgrace” and said he would refuse to “respect” the 26-year-old, believing he has not apologized after receiving a doping ban in 2014, despite serving a two-year suspension.

“I’m not happy that Loginov has won. I’m ok with the fact he’s allowed to compete now,” Fourcade, who finished sixth in the same race, said. “But he won’t get my respect as he’d never apologised for doping. We need to be fair. His victory is a disgrace.”

Also on rt.com ‘He's made a comeback, show some respect’: 'King of Biathlon' Bjorndalen defends Russia’s Loginov

Following his win, Loginov told Norwegian reporters that he did not wish to respond to any negative reactions to the victory, and instead offered to personally iron out his issues with Frenchman.

“I would like to personally chat with Martin. We can discuss all our issues. There’s nothing else to say,” Loginov told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Despite his critics, Loginov did find support within the biathlon family, not least from the ‘King of Biathlon’ Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who highlighted the need to treat Loginov with respect following his comeback.

“[Loginov] has already served his punishment for doping, we need to respect the fact he has come back,” Bjorndalen told Norwegian television. “But some have reacted negatively to his win. You could say not many people in the field of biathlon were happy at this result.”

The retired Russian biathlete and ex-Olympic champion Anton Shipulin put the negativity towards Loginov down to the current sports-political climate. 

“We just need to accept it and understand what kind of sports-political situation we’re in now,” Shipulin added. “Alexander has already been through tough times, and I’m sure he will overcome the criticism.”