MOSCOW, October 31 (R-Sport) – The United States is out to sabotage Russia's tilt at the hockey gold medal on home ice at the Sochi Olympics with the arrest of Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov for alleged assault and kidnapping, a senior parliamentarian claimed on Thursday.
The 25-year-old goalie, who is expected to play some part at February's Winter Games, was to appear in Denver District Court later in the day, according to an inmate report on the sheriff's website. He faces up to six years in prison if convicted on a charge of second-degree kidnapping, while the assault charge is a misdemeanor.
“I’m confident of Semyon’s innocence,” State Duma deputy Igor Ananskikh said. “I think it is sports and political move, as Varlamov is a candidate for the Russian national team. The main goal is to suspend him from training and games so that he loses practice and misses the Olympics,” said Ananskikh, a member of Russia's most outspoken nationalist party, LDPR.
Ananskikh said the parliament's physical training and sports committee that he heads would do everything possible to follow and influence the situation, without going into any detail.
Earlier, Varlamov’s father Alexander told R-Sport he was sure the goalie hadn’t committed any crime and the issue would be resolved soon.
At the start of the NHL season, Varlamov led Colorado to seven wins in eight games with the league second-best .945 save percentage.