Prominent Russian skier Alexander Bolshunov is the subject of two criminal reports filed with the Hame Police Department in Finland after his altercation with a Finnish rival during a men’s relay race on Sunday.
Criminal Commissioner Martti Hirvonen confirmed that the police received criminal reports about Bolshunov, and said sports incidents rarely become an object of police investigation.
“Two citizens have filed applications to the electronic crime reporting system requesting an investigation into the ski race incident. A report of an assault crime has been registered with the Hame Police Department,” Hirvonen said.
“It is very rare when incidents during sports competitions are reported as a crime. Otherwise, many athletes would make inquiries into various incidents which they consider to be a crime.”
Hirvonen added that a preliminary investigation into the case is underway, and police will later decide whether to initiate a pre-trial investigation.
The incident in question occurred during Sunday’s 4 x 7.5 km relay at the Cross-country World Cup stage in Finland, when four-time Olympic medalist Bolshunov clashed with his Finnish opponent Joni Maki.
The two skiers were battling for second place when Bolshunov found his route to the finish blocked by Maki.
Unable to pass, the Russian whipped his rival with his ski stick before plowing into him after crossing the line.
The Russian champion was penalized for his actions, with the entire relay team being stripped of their bronze medals. (edited)