Nets owner’s ‘bribe’

New York Post - - NEWS - Chris Perez

The man who blew the lid off Rus­sia’s dop­ing scan­dal claims Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov dished out hush money to an Olympic ath­lete af­ter she stum­bled upon the scheme and threat­ened to go pub­lic.

Whistle­blower Grig­ory Rod­chenkov al­leged in sworn tes­ti­mony that the Rus­sian bil­lion­aire shelled out mil­lions of rubles to keep biath­lete Irina Starykh quiet af­ter she tested pos­i­tive for steroids, ac­cord­ing to The Wall Street Jour­nal.

He tes­ti­fied that one of Rus­sia’s dop­ing doc­tors, Irina Ro­di­onova, told him about the ex­change af­ter be­ing in­formed by Starykh.

The Olympic hope­ful had been caught us­ing steroids in Aus­tria ahead of the 2014 Sochi Win­ter Games and asked Rod­chenkov for help dis­cred­it­ing the anal­y­sis, but he was un­able to do so, Rod­chenkov said.

Up­set over not com­pet­ing, Starykh was plan­ning on re­veal­ing her dop­ing reg­i­men to Olympic of­fi­cials when Prokhorov stepped in and paid her “mil­lions of [rubles] to stay silent,” ac­cord­ing to Rod­chenkov. One ru­ble is cur­rently worth about 2 cents, so to­day a mil­lion rubles would be about $20,000.

Starykh and Prokhorov both de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tion on Thurs­day, say­ing no cash was ev­ery ex­changed be­tween the two.

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