Leading figures in Russian cross-country skiing have denied social media claims that Beijing 2022 gold medalist Denis Spitsov was planning to snub President Vladimir Putin.
A message circulating on Telegram alleged that Spitsov, who helped the Russian team win the 4 x 10km relay at the Beijing Winter Olympics and bagged a silver in the 30km skiathlon, would not attend a traditional meeting between Putin and his country’s Olympians.
But the president of the Russian Ski Association, Elena Vyalbe, refuted the rumors in comments to Metaratings.
“This person wrote [this] on his Telegram channel, and many reposted [it]. You need to call the author and ask where he got all this from, [and] from what source,” Vyalbe stressed.
“But there is no author there, there is a Telegram channel to which everyone refers. This information is, of course, incorrect.
“Denis, like many athletes, is now in quarantine and is preparing for the award ceremony which will be held on the 24th [of April], and I don’t understand why unknown people are writing something there, also in quotation marks. I wonder where they got this information from,” Vyalbe pondered.
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To RIA Novosti, Russian national cross-country skiing team head coach Yury Borodavko also confirmed that Spitsov, 25, was in quarantine ahead of the meeting and suggested that whoever “wrote this about Denis” should be “deprived of accreditations and everything else.”
“They also have to apologize, because the information is absolutely unverified.
“I repeat, you need to apologize to the athlete for this. As for the meeting with the president, everything is fine, Denis is preparing for it, everything is as it was,” Borodavko finished.