Before the World Championships in Anterselva began, a scandal struck that could end in litigation and overshadow the sports component of the main start of the season. The three-time Olympic champion Anfisa Reztsova and the current leader of the World Cup among men Frenchman Martin Fourcade publicly quarreled among themselves, and the dope was the reason for this.
It all started with a comment by Reztsova, who, as an expert, spoke about competitions starting in Italy. She touched on the superiority of Fourcade and the Norwegian biathletes over rivals, doubting the honesty of their fight. In her opinion, foreign athletes are not without powerful pharmacological assistance.
“Martin Fourcade is a great athlete, a huge talent, but still gets some kind of medical support. The same is the Norwegians. Well, I can’t believe that Tiril Eckhoff is so much stronger on everyone’s head. All five stages she rushes, as if stung. I can’t believe that this is possible without medical assistance. And how many Norwegians have asthmatics? People with asthma walk with difficulty, and these constantly win. But, as they say, not caught - not a thief. Apparently, their medicine is at a very high level, ”Reztsova told Soviet Sport.
In the past, the three-time Olympic champion has already expressed suspicions that foreign athletes succeed in special ways. However, she did not name specific names.
The next day, a few hours before the start of the mixed relay, Fourcade reacted to Reztsova’s words. He left a comment on Twitter for news in Russian.
“I hope that not all former athletes fall into insanity. But she fell ... "- wrote the Frenchman.
Such a statement caused irritation among Russian fans who criticized Fourcade for his impudent remark. Soon, Reztsova herself answered the five-time Olympic champion.
"Wow! I want to say that he will never achieve what I have achieved. He is not worth it. In vain he said so to the three-time Olympic champion. He offended me, ”said a former athlete of RIA Novosti.
After the mixed relay, in which the French team took only seventh place, Fourcade threatened to transfer the conflict to the legal plane and consider filing a lawsuit against Reztsova.
“I follow the Russian biathlon and all the news that comes from there. And I was surprised by this statement. It really upset and disappointed me. What this man said is a lie. I will talk with my lawyer about this because some unknown person accused me of what I did not do. She said something about me in the Russian press. And this is nonsense. I have never taken illegal drugs, I do not take any pills at all. And even more so, I have no therapeutic exceptions. I have nothing to admit, I am absolutely clean for the world biathlon, ”the Frenchman told the Championship.
In the past, Fourcade, known for his intolerant attitude towards doping, said that he was used to the suspicions that fans expressed about his successful performances. In his book “My Dream of Gold and Snow,” he mentioned that he had learned to live with a stream of accusations against him and did not respond to statements from those he did not know.
However, Reztsova’s statement hurt him anyway, although in fact the former Russian biathlete did not blame the Frenchman for anything reprehensible. The word “doping” did not come out of her mouth, and the phrase “medical support” can mean anything from truly illegal drugs to completely legal ones, including conventional medicines and methods for treating injuries. There is no doubt that Fourcade, as one of the brightest stars in biathlon, receives medical assistance at the highest level, if necessary.
So far, the conflict has not been resolved - now it is more important for Fourcade not to consult with lawyers, but to focus on speaking at the World Cup, where he must justify the status of one of the favorites. And, which cannot be ruled out, either, prepare for a return statement of claim by Reztsova - after all, in fact, the French biathlete publicly insulted her, exposing himself in this not in the best light.