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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FBI Asks Skating Judge for Interview

WINNIPEG, Canada --- The FBI's New York office has requested an interview with French figure skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne in the wake of last week's arrest of a Russian on charges of vote rigging at the Winter Olympics.

The FBI wants to interview Le Gougne, who was banned for three years for her role in the Salt Lake City Olympics pairs judging scandal, about reported Russian mobster Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.

Tokhtakhounov was arrested by police in Italy last week after he was charged by U.S. prosecutors for allegedly trying to fix two skating competitions at February's Games.

Le Gougne's lawyer Erik Christiansen said Monday that she will respond to the FBI's request once she has more specifics about its queries. "She welcomes the scrutiny because she's got nothing to hide. This doesn't concern her," Christiansen said.

Le Gougne has already stated she has never heard of Tokhtakhounov.

The latest controversy surrounds an alleged deal to assure Olympic victory for French ice dancers Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat in exchange for gold for Russian pair skaters Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.

But Christiansen said that Le Gougne was adamant that she was not pressured to cast her vote for the Russian pair in Salt Lake City.

Christiansen and Le Gougne have known the FBI was investigating Uzbek-born Tokhtakhounov since Feb. 24 when an agent in Salt Lake City made inquiries about Le Gougne's knowledge of the suspect.

"It sounded to me like Hollywood fiction, so I didn't see any relevance to my [client's] case," Christiansen said, referring to his attempts to have the International Skating Union's misconduct charges against Le Gougne dropped.

Le Gougne denies there was a French-Russian move to fix the results, Christiansen said. He believes the ISU deliberately kept any Russian officials from testifying at Le Gougne's hearing.

"I'm certain that if the Russians had been at the hearing, they would have said, 'This is a complete fabrication, there is no conspiracy.' Then the ISU would have been in a pickle," said Christiansen.