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Russian official: Varlamov arrest 'is sports and political move' by US

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Varlamov is facing two domestic violence-related charges. (USATSI)
Varlamov is facing two domestic violence-related charges. (USATSI)

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Semyon Varlamov isn't just the starting goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche, he's also arguably the favorite to be the starting goaltender for the Russian Olympic team when the Games get under way in Sochi, Russia this February.

After developments on Wednesday night led to the arrest of Varlamov on domestic violence-related charges in Denver, it, among other things, put his and Russia's Olympic plans in some peril. It didn't take long for some in Russia to already shout sabotage.

Indeed, a lawmaker in Russia thinks this is all just a big ploy to hurt the Russians' chance at gold as RSport reports.

"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.

Well let's see here; USA Hockey IS based out of Colorado Springs, not all that far from Denver. Perhaps they could have put Varlamov's girlfriend up to reporting a fictitious crime to the police for the sake of the Olympic Games. Sounds reasonable enough ...

OK no, no it doesn't at all. You knew that something like this was going to come out of Russia before anything even happens beyond an arrest. I'm wondering how somebody half the world away can be sure of Varlamov's innocence in this case.

Especially intriguing is the part where the lawmaker claims they will do what they can to influence the decision because, you know, the Olympics are more important than the legal system doing its job and determining the facts. It's a rather ridiculous reaction, yet one that's not surprising in the least.

But if Ananskikh really has figured out USA Hockey's dastardly plan and is still unable to do anything about it and influence the decision, they always have Sergei Bobrovsky.

Just a little background though on this particular lawmaker and his political party from Slava Malamud. Just keep this in mind.

S/t to SI

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