Published time: 12 Jan, 2019 17:46 Edited time: 12 Jan, 2019 18:17
Eight-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjorndalen has spoken out in support of Russian peer Alexander Loginov who was criticized by other athletes upon securing his maiden IBU Biathlon World Cup in Oberhof, Germany, on Friday.
Other biathletes were critical of Loginov, who was suspended in 2014 after a urine sample from 2013 was re-tested and showed signs of erythropoietin, for which he was handed a two-year ban from the sport.
While his win on Friday was met with disdain from some corners of the sport, Bjorndalen spoke to defend the 26-year-old, and called for others to show him the required "respect."
"[Loginov] has already served his punishment for doping, we need to respect the fact he has come back," Bjorndalen told Norwegian television.
"But some have reacted negatively to his win. You could say not many people in the field of biathlon were happy at this result," he added.
Loginov came first in the 10km sprint in the World Cup in Germany, followed by Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Boe in second place with Swede Sebastian Samuelsson in third.
After the race, Frenchman Martin Fourcade, who finished in lowly sixth place, spoke out against Loginov, stating he did not respect the Russian and accused him of doping.