Russian official calls arrest of Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov 'effort to weaken' Olympic team

DENVER - The arrest of a Colorado Avalanche hockey player on Wednesday night is being called "an effort to weaken" the Russian Olympic team, according to the website

Goalie Semyon Varlamov was arrested on charges of kidnapping and assault after what police called a domestic violence incident involving someone with whom Varlmamov had an "intimate relationship." says Varlamov is not yet a member of the Russian Olympic hockey team. However, he is likely to be invited, the website said.

The website quoted Igor Ananskykh, head of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs let me, as saying, "The situation is really strange, given that the Sochi Olympics will take place soon and Varlamov is a candidate to become part of our national hockey team which we do count on. What about presumption of innocence? It’s not normal at all. Varlamov will fall out of the training process which will have an impact on his readiness before the Olympics in Sochi. The first thing that comes to my mind is that it is an effort to weaken our national team."

The U.S. plays Russia on the second Saturday of the Olympics, according to NBC Sports.

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