Olympic champion Alina Zagitova has inadvertently become embroiled in a huge scandal which erupted over her participation in a New Year’s show, with the Russian Investigative Committee looking into alleged document fraud.
The reigning world champion was invited to take part in Tatyana Navka’s figure skating show ‘Sleeping Beauty’ where she played one of the leading roles.
Later it was revealed that the skater received over eight million rubles ($102,514) for 22 appearances in the ice spectacle which was staged in Moscow during the New Year holidays.
All figure skaters participating in the show signed individual contracts with the organizers, where they were described as self-employed entrepreneurs.
— Социал-демократ (@woskrese17) January 12, 2020
According to documents presented by the organizer Rosconcert, Olympic champion Navka who created the show received over six million rubles, while the highest payment of eight million rubles went to Eduard Aksenov – who never appeared on the ice and had no role in the spectacle.
Zagitova’s name was not mentioned among the skaters involved in the show.
The Russian Investigative Committee is examining Aksenov’s role in the show suspecting him of swindling and exceeding authority.
According to Navka, Aksenov who is a deputy director of Khrustalny Skating Center – the training base of Eteri Tutberidze’s team – just acted in the interests of Zagitova.
“Yes, there is a question why Eduard Aksenov received the money without taking part in the show. He really didn’t perform as he is not a skater,” Navka said.
“According to Russian law, Alina Zagitova is not the eligible age to be a self-employed person. That’s why in agreement with Zagitova’s parents Aksenov has been representing the skater’s interests.
Алина Загитова сыграла роль принцессы в шоу «Спящая красавица» 😍
Как вам Алина в таком образе?
Фото: Абдул Фархан pic.twitter.com/aTEnWLRy8g
— Татар-информ (@tatar_inform) December 28, 2019
Everything has been done in accordance with Russian legislation,” she added.
It remains unknown why Aksenov, not Zagitova’s parents, acted on behalf of the skater who is expected to continue her cooperation with Navka next season.
Last autumn the reigning world and Olympic champion put her career on hold announcing a break from competitive skating.