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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police: Tokhtakhounov Predicted Ban

VENICE, Italy -- Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov predicted that ice-dancing might be banned from the Olympics after his alleged plot to fix results, telling a French skater she could well be "the last champion," according to police-wiretap transcripts obtained by The Associated Press.

The latest transcripts were released a week after the arrest in Venice of Tokhtakhounov on U.S. charges of corrupting judges at the Salt Lake City Games.

Police have released limited -- and sometimes unclear -- transcripts from wiretapped conversations between Tokhtakhounov and various callers. The latest included alleged conversations March 23 between the suspect and French ice-dancing champion Marina Anissina, who a month before had won Olympic gold and was at the time of the recorded conversation watching the World Championships.

Anissina, who denies all involvement in corruption and insists it is not her voice on the tapes, allegedly discusses corruption at the World Championships in Japan, according to the police transcripts, which include numerous breaks.

Anissina: "There are big scandals there, too. ... My coach said that there were scandals, that if they were ever verified, everyone would be shocked."

Tokhtakhounov: "... It has started a mess! I think you are the last champion of the Olympic Games. I think that ice-dancing will be banned!"

Anissina: "Probably figure skating, not the ice-dancing."

The alleged conversation came a month after the Olympics and after a scandal over what seemed to many to be inexplicable judging decisions.

According to the transcript, Anissina was calling Tokhtakhounov from Lyon, France. The two went on to discuss the skater's future, with the police document adding: "Marina says she won't participate in the Olympics anymore, that she'll go to compete in American tournaments. Then the two speak of her skating partner."

Further on in the conversation, Tokhtakhounov refers to having known Anissina's father since "we were young."

Anissina, who competes for France but is of Russian origin, acknowledges that she knew Tokhtakhounov, but says this had nothing to do with her winning the gold medal. She said this week that she had met Tokhtakhounov first in 1999 at a reception and kept in occasional contact with him.

Italian police say they came across Tokhtakhounov during a wide Russian mafia investigation. His representatives say he was merely a successful businessman who enjoyed spending time with celebrities and athletes.

"He doesn't know anything about the Salt Lake City Olympic Games," Tokhtakhounov's lawyer Luca Saldarelli said last week. "He's not even a fan of figure skating."

Tokhtakhounov is awaiting extradition procedures to the United States. He is being held in a Venice prison, although his lawyers are trying to move him to house arrest at one of his homes in Italy.