Russian politician tells public to ignore ‘media hysteria’ over Olympic doping mystery
A member of the Duma’s Committee for Sport and Tourism is calling for skepticism about a press report regarding a Russian figure skater’s possible doping violation at the Winter Olympics.
Dmitry Svishev said it’s necessary to wait for official information from reliable sources, such as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
On Monday, outlet Inside the Games wrote that the medal ceremony in the figure skating team event had been delayed over a Russian skater failing a doping test that was conducted before the Beijing Games.
“I think we should not trust the information presented by Inside the Games. We need to wait for information from official sources, like the ROC and Russian Figure Skating Federation," Svishev said.
"It might be a mistake. That’s why, let’s stay beyond media hysteria and continue preparing for the competitions.”
The ceremony was delayed because of unspecified legal issues which “arose at short notice,” the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday.
The committee provided no specific details, but spokesman Mark Adams said at a press conference on Wednesday that “a situation arose at short notice that requires legal consultation.”
“Athletes who have won medals are involved in this situation," Adams was quoted to have told AFP via Championat.
"Everyone is doing everything they can to get the situation resolved as soon as possible. But as you know, consideration of legal issues can sometimes be delayed."
2018 pairs silver medalist Alexander Enbert called the development "unexpected" and said he had "no idea" how doping would help skaters.
"This is a sport where there is not such a physical load as in a marathon," he explained. "This is more technical training.
"As a skater, I don’t know how doping can help with this. Therefore, figure skating has always remained a pure sport, where such incidents were very rare.
"I have confidence in our athletes because all of us are constantly reviewing, training materials, they are very closely monitored. Let's say I passed about eight doping tests before [the Games in] Korea – that is, they constantly monitor this at all competitions.
"[Athletes] come home and take tests. I can’t imagine how someone with a positive doping test could go to the Olympics."
The ROC team had comfortably won the team event, amassing a 74-point total compared to Team USA’s 65 points. Japan came third with 63 points.