President of the Russian Figure Skating Federation Alexander Gorshkov has hit back at critics who claimed that Russia’s leading positions in women’s events were mainly attributed to banned medicine used by young skaters.
The ice-dancing legend and Olympic champion laughed off the ungrounded allegations, joking that skeptics who are unhappy with Russia’s dominance on the international circuit could also suggest that national athletes use nerve agents, like Novichok.
“That’s nonsense. Where did you get this?” Gorshkov exclaimed when asked to comment on the controversial doping accusations.
“Ah, US journalists wrote it. Didn’t they say we use Novichok?”
Before the 2021 World Championships, US journalist Dave Lease was talking with Canada’s world champion Meagan Duhamel about skaters’ chances of winning medals.
During their conversation Lease unequivocally hinted that Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova, who took gold in Stockholm, uses a prohibited substance which helped her to win.
“It’s constantly doom and gloom around how is Anna’s health condition. She had Covid-19, then she is still sick, they gave her smelling salt at a competition,” Lease said, referring to Shcherbakova’s performance at the national championship in December.
“Also, the fact they talk about doping and everything, and the fact that we see a girl who is so ill one day that she is having smelling salt.
“And then, you know, heaving after her short program and getting sick and out of breath. And less than 24 hours later it looks like, you know, she lands all these quads in the best health of her life, no coughing, anything.
“And the fact that no one covers it in the press, everyone ignores that we just saw something happened, which should have not happened medically,” Lease concluded.
Shcherbakova claimed her third national title in December, competing while she was suffering a fever caused by complications of Covid-19.
Russian coaches have constantly been accused of pushing young athletes to the limit while pursuing the goal of winning international awards.
One of the accusations voiced by international critics is the allegation that hormone blockers have been used to keep the bodies of young athletes from changing.
None of the claims have ever been proved by medical tests or by the skaters who continue winning major events for Russia, something which obviously irritates critics.