Three Russian fencers held for drug dealing

Moscow: A Russian fencer who won bronze at an international event in London recently has been arrested along with two teammates from the national team on suspicion of drug dealing, an official said.

Evgeny Soloviev, 22, was arrested by drugs police on a Moscow shopping street while he was receiving 10 kg of recreational drugs, said Elena Grishina, spokeswoman for the Russian Fencing Federation.

Two of his teammates were also detained in the operation, but the spokeswoman refused to name them.

The nature of the narcotics involved was not clear. Drug dealing convictions carry fines and prison terms depending on the severity of the offence.

All three are members of the Russian national team, among the country`s top 25 athletes, but none will be among the team travelling to London for the Olympics, she said.

Soloviev came joint third with Britain`s Keith Cook in the men`s foil at the Leon Paul Cup, an International Fencing Federation event, in London Dec 4.

No charges have yet been brought against any of the three. It was not clear if they deny wrongdoing.