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Ex-RBU head Tikhonov denies IBU corruption accusations, ready to take polygraph test

On Thursday, the External Review Commission of the International Biathlon Union published its findings following a probe into former IBU management led by Norway’s Anders Besseberg
Former President of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Alexander Tikhonov  Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS
Former President of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Alexander Tikhonov
© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Four-time Olympic champion and former president of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Alexander Tikhonov has rejected claims of the independent External Review Commission (ERC) of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) about being complicit in corruption breaches and is ready to prove it by taking a lie detector test, he told TASS.

On Thursday, the ERC headed by British Jonathan Taylor published its findings following a probe into corruption accusations against former IBU management led by Norway’s Anders Besseberg. The commission concluded that he was complicit in concealing doping samples of Russian biathletes. In particular, the report noted that Tikhonov attempted to bribe former IBU Secretary General Nicole Resch to sweep three cases of Russian doping violations under the rug.

"I never tried to bribe anyone, especially Nicole Resch. When I was the [RBU] president, we had enough medals, 78 medals! Therefore, it is absurd that I felt the need to bribe anyone," Tikhonov stressed.

"I told Besseberg from the podium that he would either end up with shame or in prison. They directed funds earmarked for summer biathlon to other bank accounts and earned interest rates. I am ready to say this under polygraph," he stressed.

The report underscores that Besseberg and Resch are considered innocent until official indictment. However, the commission believes that there is credible and reliable proof that they breached IBU rules. The final decision on sanctions against Besseberg and Resch lies in the jurisdiction of the Biathlon Integrity Unit.